UK & World News
China: Accused Good Samaritan Commits Suicide
A Good Samaritan who helped an elderly road traffic victim only to be accused of running him over has reportedly killed himself after receiving compensation demands.
Wu Weiqing, 46, from Dongyuan in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, was riding his motorbike on New Year's Eve when he encountered an elderly man who appeared to have been knocked over, his widow told local media.
Wu helped the man up and drove him to a local clinic, she said, where he paid 3,500 yuan (£352) in medical fees for him.
She said: "My husband never imagined that the old man and his family would turn around and insist that he was the one who struck him down and demand that we pay hundreds of thousands of yuan in damages."
His daughter Wu Haiyan told a newspaper that two days after coming across the accident, her father had told friends and relatives the man's family was demanding a huge sum for "medical fees".
Her father had called to say "he was being hounded to death".
She said: "He felt vexed that he himself would be asked for money by the same old man he had helped, and he thought it better to die to prove his innocence rather than drag his family down."
He gave her instructions for his funeral, she said, and hours later his body was found in a pond.
It is the latest in a number of cases where people going to help others have ended up facing cash demands, sparking a debate in China.
The family of the old man, surnamed Zhou, denied they had requested huge sums and insisted Wu had hit him.
"If he hadn't hit my father with the motorbike, why would he be so kind as to bring my dad to the hospital and pay for his medical expenses himself?" the man's eldest daughter said.
An investigation has been launched by the authorities, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
There have been several high-profile cases of people claiming to have been injured in order to extort money from those who have helped them.
In 2009, a driver called Xu Yunhe came to the aid of an elderly woman in the northeast city of Tianjin.
She later claimed that Xu had hit her, and a court ordered him to pay her 100,000 yuan (£10,500), on the grounds that he would not have helped if he was not responsible.
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