Saigon driver in fatal car crash faces 10 years in jail

By Hai Duyen   May 22, 2019 | 12:06 am PT
Saigon driver in fatal car crash faces 10 years in jail
Nguyen Thi Nga makes a phone call in her car after crashing into multiple motorbikes in downtown Saigon in October last year. Photo by VnExpress/Nga Le
The drunk driver who killed one and injured five in a Saigon traffic accident last October will stand trial next month.

Nguyen Thi Nga, 46, has been charged with "violating road traffic regulations" which carries punishment of between three and 10 years under Vietnam’s Penal Code, Binh Thanh District prosecutors said.

Nga is now under house arrest and is set to stand trial on June 17.

Nga, a restaurant owner, was reportedly speeding on Dien Bien Phu Street when she lost control and crashed her BMW into five motorbikes waiting at the Hang Xanh intersection traffic lights at around 11 p.m. on October 21.

The car only came to a halt after ramming into a taxi. A 38-year-old woman died immediately and five others were injured. 

Tests showed alcohol content of 0.94 milligrams per liter in her blood. The alcohol level allowed for car drivers in Vietnam is zero, and for motorbike drivers up to 0.25 milligrams per liter.

She has reportedly admitted to the police that she had drunk a lot of beer earlier that night.

After the accident, Nga gave VND150 million ($6,400) to the dead victim's family as support for funeral services and suggested a monthly maintenance allowance of VND3 million to help the victim's daughter attend school. However, the victim's family rejected the allowance offer and demanded a compensation of VND2 billion.

Road accidents are a leading killer in Vietnam, with one person dying almost every hour. More than 18,720 accidents occurred in 2018, killing 8,244 people and injuring nearly 14,800, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee.

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