Student jailed in Da Nang for causing death of American man in car crash

By Ngoc Truong   June 24, 2024 | 08:28 pm PT
Student jailed in Da Nang for causing death of American man in car crash
Tran Ngoc Linh (L) and Dang Nguyen Vu stand trial in Da Nang City, June 24, 2024. Photo by Trang Chi
A Da Nang college student has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for fatally running over an American motorcyclist with his car last year.

The court found Tran Ngoc Linh, 22, guilty of "violating road traffic regulations," it announced on Monday.

On June 28 last year Linh rented a car and drove around a family visiting from Hanoi.

At around 4:15 p.m. that day, while driving along Hoang Sa Street in Son Tra District at 30-40 kph, he attempted to overtake another car just before reaching a T-junction.

Goodman John Lorenzo, 34, was riding a motorcycle in the opposite direction, and Linh hit his vehicle head-on.

Linh stopped the car immediately and tried to assist the victim, but Lorenzo died on the spot.

Following an investigation, the police concluded that Linh had violated regulations by trying to overtake a vehicle at an intersection and entering the wrong side of the road.

Lorenzo had an alcohol level of 138 milligrams/100 milliliters of blood and did not have a valid Vietnamese driver's license.

The laws prohibit having any amount of blood alcohol while driving vehicles.

In the U.S., driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% (equivalent to 80 milligrams/100 milliliters) or higher is illegal.

In Vietnam, people found driving with an alcohol level of below 50 mg/100 ml (0.05%) or 0.25 mg/liter of breath will be fined VND2-3 million and have their driving license suspended for 10-12 months.

For alcohol levels of 50-80 mg/100 ml, the fine is VND4-5 million and a suspension of 16-18 months.

For exceeding 80 mg/100 ml, the fine is VND6-8 million and 22-24-month suspension.

Local man Dang Nguyen Vu, 33, was sentenced to a 12-month non-custodial rehabilitation sentence for renting a motorbike to Lorenzo though he did not have a Vietnamese license.

The court ruled that Vu had been aware that Lorenzo had just arrived in Vietnam and did not have a driver's license.

Both men had their sentences commuted as Linh voluntarily compensated for the victim’s family (though it is not clear how much he had given them) and sincerely repented his actions and Vu was a first-time offender.

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