China: Toddler’s Death Sparks Nationwide Introspection

A Chinese girl dies of hit-and-run injuries after passersby fail to help, in a case that has led to nationwide calls for change.<br/>

Contact Editor
Maayana Miskin,

Wang Yue seconds before accident
Wang Yue seconds before accident
Film still

One young girl’s death has led millions to call for change in China. The girl, two-year-old Wang Yue, passed away Friday after being hit by a van last week and left to die.

At least eighteen people passed by the young girl, also known as Yueyue, as she lay in the street with serious injuries. However, none stepped in to help – leaving her to be hit by a second vehicle.

A woman finally removed little Yueyue from the road, but it was too late. The toddler had suffered critical injuries and never regained consciousness.

The incident was caught on film and was widely publicized in China and around the world. Since the tragedy, more than four million Chinese citizens have responded to an online campaign titled, “Please stop apathy.”

“Little Yueyue’s tragedy should not be repeated… From today, offer to help those who need your help,” the campaign urges.

Yueyue’s parents say they have received many offers of help and donations. The couple has expressed gratitude but declined the offers as unnecessary.

They have avoided commenting on the case, or on those who failed to help their daughter. The two took the time this week to meet with the woman who attempted to rescue Yueyue, and greeted her with a traditional bow of respect.

Some Chinese analysts have suggested that high-profile cases in which those who extended help were later sued by those they helped may be responsible for the reluctance to get involved in Yueyue’s case. In several cases, Chinese courts have seen a person’s decision to extend help to an accident victim as an admission of involvement in the accident.

A columnist writing in China’s communist party mouthpiece, People’s Daily, urged citizens to help each other despite their fears. “Although saving people brings ‘trouble,’ nonetheless, ignoring the dying… is ripping apart society’s moral fabric,” wrote Li Hongbing.