Government car driver suspended for drunken hit-and-run in Hanoi

By Phuong Son   December 13, 2016 | 02:31 am PT
Government car driver suspended for drunken hit-and-run in Hanoi
A screenshot shows the state-owned car being stopped by an angry mob on Saturday evening.
The man was hospitalized after an angry mob caught up with him and taught him a lesson.

The driver of a state-owned car involved in a controversial hit-and-run accident in Hanoi last Saturday night has been suspended.

A source from the Commission on Economic Affairs, tasked with advising the Communist Party on economic policies and strategies, on Tuesday said it has suspended Dinh Manh Hung, 58, after an investigation found that he was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Hung crashed into a motorbike in Thanh Xuan District last Saturday night and attempted to flee the scene at high speed.

Several bystanders, incensed by the driver’s actions, decided to follow the car, and another motorcyclist was hit in the high-speed chase that ensued. The driver finally came to a stop at traffic lights in Dong Da District, five kilometers from site of the first crash, and was caught by a group of young men.

Hung had to receive hospital treatment after being attacked by the angry mob, but was discharged on Monday, the official said.

In Vietnam, people can easily recognize cars used by government agencies and officials by their blue plates.

Police have not imposed any punishment yet, but Nguyen Van Quy from Hanoi’s Traffic Police said Hung may just receive a fine "as he had agreed to compensate the victims and the damage was not serious".

He could be fined up to VND18 million ($800) and lose his driver’s license for six months for the crashes, plus VND6 million for fleeing the scene, Quy said.

Traffic incidents involving government officials and police officers often draw a lot of attention in Vietnam.

In one recent case, a district chief prosecutor in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum was sentenced to 18 months in jail in May for drunk driving. He caused multiple crashes that sent eight people to hospital.

Last January, a court in the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau sentenced a former traffic police officer to five years in prison for crashing a car into a crowd in 2014, killing two and injuring seven others.

Related news:

Government car chased down on Hanoi street for hit-and-run accident

Vietnamese government car causes chaos in Saigon

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