2-year-old run over by two vehicles, ignored by 18 passers-by, riling up public opinion
At 5:26 p.m. on October 13, a van knocked down and ran over a 2-year-old girl in a hardware market in Foshan, Guangdong province in a hit-and-run. Then a truck ran over her and fled. During the seven minutes following the first accident, 18 people brushed aside the little girl lying on the ground as if nothing were there. No one bothered to lend a hand or call the police, until finally a rag-picking lady noticed her, held her up, asked for help from a nearby shop and received no response. She kept shouting for help until the toddler’s mother heard her and rushed the little girl to the hospital.
The fiendishly astounding cold-bloodiness of the two drivers and 18 passers-by were captured by a surveillance camera. The footage and the screenshots, now viral on the Internet, have stirred a netizens-led campaign against the rampant moral downgrade in China.
YouTube video (with subtitles)
Original Youku version
The girl, named Yue Yue, remained on life support in the ICU. Her parents, now on the verge of total collapse, offered a bounty of 50,000 for any lead to the first hit-and-run driver. They received an aggressive phone call from a man who claimed to be the van driver, saying that he would not turn himself to the police and would run away. However, after the real van driver showed up, it turned out the previous phone call was a hoax.
According to Yue Yue’s father, Yue Yue snuck out from her home that afternoon when her 7-year-old brother went out to play along with other kids and her mother went upstairs to get clothes from the balcony. Their home is a little over 100 meters away from the accident scene.
Yue Yue’s mother knelt down in tears in front of Chen Xianmei to thank her kindness to Yue Yue.
Chen Xianmei, the rag-picker, was overwhelmed by the outpouring of praises and the press corps that have been going after her for “how she felt about her heroic deeds.” “This is a trifling matter. Back then, I just wanted to help. I did not think too much. I have nothing to say,” she said, “After all, some one had to lend a hand in the end.”
The news have become the No.1 trending topic on the hugely popular microblogging service Sina Weibo, with 4.5 million posts using the hashtags, such as “passers-by disregard little girl”, and probably millions more without the tags.
A campaign named “Please Stop Apathy” was launched on Weibo, rallying public opinion to put an end to the series of cases in the national spotlight that are believed to either the cause or the result of the nation’s callousness.
In 2007, an old woman in Nanjing was knocked to the ground and broke her left hip. A man named Peng Yu was the first passenger off the bus at that station. He went over to assist Xu, and he helped take her to the hospital once her family members arrived. He also gave her 200 yuan. However, the woman sued Peng Yu for 130 grand, and the court ruled that Peng Yu should pay medical expenses for knocking down the woman, as it is the logic conclusion and “common sense” that Peng Yu offered his help because he felt guilty of what he does, otherwise he wouldn’t have to be so kind-hearted.
Since then, similar cases in which helpful people were wronged by the helped, are often heard of in the Chinese media.
Selected comments on Weibo:
Summer-工 ：#路人漠视被撞女孩#(Jing: hashtag “passers-by disregard little girl”) I really want to excoriate these passers-by. People’s hearts are getting darker. Is it a problem of humanity, or a problem of the society? Why (people) are getting more and more cold-blooded!!! Even though there are too many examples, one should have a good clear conscience, even if he has fallen victim…It’s not a big favor…
流浪异乡的猫 ：#请停止冷漠# (Jing: hashtag “Please Stop Apathy”, as is the case with the rest of the posts.) The society is progressing while people are getting more and more cold-blooded! The wallet is bulging while people are getting more and more apathetic~ This is a morbid society. This social trend is terrible…Please stop Apathy…We need to live in a warm and harmonious city. 。Praying for no more Yue Yue Incident. And hope that Chinese people can get better cultivated instead of focusing on nothing but making money.
濯濯而妖 ：#请停止冷漠# Even since the accident in which little Yue Yue was run over, Granny Chen, her rescuer, was accused of seeking fame and publicity (by only a handful). The hit-and-run driver showed up (a hoax) and said a death means at most a compensation of 10 to 20 grand, whereas not killing her means endless trouble. I cannot criticize this social structure and the warmth and coldness of human hearts with my shallow knowledge. The current situation of China is: some people live in the abyss of suffering. Others find pleasure in it. It’s pervert, deranged, cruel and cold-blooded. However, it still has love. As long as there is love, there is future.
LIJIEYA ：#请停止冷漠# Our countrymen have reached a point of dehumanization! There is no concern or help among one another. There is only vigilance and distance! People only care about how to make more money!~ It’s really chilling!!!
司万安 ：#请停止冷漠# Don’t know why it is always those at the bottom of the social hierarchy who have retained good conscience. Is it because money makes people lose conscience? Should know that everyone has a family, kid.
聖心明德-干蒸-Chiang ：#请停止冷漠# The crumble of the society’s moral structure dates back to more than two decades ago. That little Yue Yue was run over and no one was bothered by the sight is heart-rending to those who hear about it. Most people are better at saying than actually doing. The society has deteriorated. These deeds are the manifestation of the Chinese people’s “fine traditions?” So the legacy of a civilization is ruined overnight like this?
张洛书 ：#请停止冷漠# I actually think passers-by should take all the blame. Now there is no relevant law to protect those who take up the cudgels for a just cause and lend a hand to strangers. Who can be sure that every time such a thing happens, the scene can be clearly recorded in its entirety? What if one is wronged after he does good deeds? There are recently too many cases of making false counter-charges. So, in addition to everyone having a good heart, it is more important that there is a relevant law enacted!
小猫跑的快 ：#请停止冷漠# So far, the Party has been using economic development and biding its time as excuses to cover up its evil doing. Is it time to consider rebuilding the moral structure? Money is not almighty. Right now wisdom of the wide citizenry is inadequate. However, when the real middle class rises, it will not be far from its death. There is another scenario in which the Party keeps playing along in the country, whereas the middle class send their children abroad and emigrate their entire families… What I am seeing nowadays is the second scenario..
starchenchenxing ：#请停止冷漠# I am not going to denounce the 18 passers-by, as I cannot be sure I am not one of them. I will not say “if…if…” Because there is no “if” in the face of a life. Everyone of us is a passer-by, is little Yue Yue.
多米诺1113 ：#请停止冷漠# If you were unwilling to carry the kid, at least you could stop the truck from coming over? You could call the police, could ask vehicles to go around. Even if there is concern our good heart will be taken advantage of, it’s not that we cannot do anything. We can always offer help that matters a great deal!
cupsir ： The country is very apathetic to its people. Can the people be warm-hearted???? In order for the people to do more good deeds, please, the country, #请停止冷漠#, stop being apathetic and treat your people well!!!!
loverongs ：#请停止冷漠# Is the society too apathetic? The case of Peng Yu in Nanjing has cast a long shadow over the society and severely impacted the moral structure. To be a good man, you will have to be able to afford the helping hand fee. Why accuse of ordinary people of being apathetic? The apathy is caused by some people. Why not punish those who passed the wrong verdict? Look at the accidents. The bullet train crash. A question for China: how can the government official, who should be held accountable, flee and continue to be a corrupt official care-free in a different office.
脚后跟的爱 ：#请停止冷漠# I am chilled after watching it. Even if I was powerless to save her, I would definitely take out my cellphone. Have the moral values of this society been twisted? Disgrace of the Chinese people! Still remember that after the earthquake in ’08, the entire nation prayed for the disaster-hit area in unity? Felt truly proud to be in China. Can it be said that only a happening like an earthquake can unite (Chinese)? It’s a life!!!
追xudream ：#请停止冷漠# Those with money, hurry up with emigration. Those have-nots, hurry up sneaking outbound. Life is not livable here. Lack of morality has turned this place into a hell. I think even Iraqi people are happier than us!