Chinese police do u-turn on traffic crash after crowd doubt official account

An auxiliary traffic officer threw a bike into the path of a motorcyclist to stop the rider and his passenger from fleeing a random breath test stop.
PHOTO: Weibo

A motorcyclist and his passenger fleeing a random breath test police stop had to be rushed to hospital after an auxiliary officer threw a bike into the vehicle's path in southern China on Sunday.

Traffic police in Shantou, Guangdong province, said initially on Monday morning that the motorcycle did a U-turn to avoid the police checkpoint, sped away and crashed in some shrubbery separating traffic lanes.

The 19-year-old motorist, identified only by his surname She, and his 20-year-old passenger, surnamed Li, were injured, police said.

But in footage posted online, an officer is seen trying to separate the motorcycle from a bike.

Many internet users questioned the police account, saying it looked like vehicle hit the bike rather than the bushes.

The traffic police issued another statement at about 10am and called for witnesses or videos for a "truthful, objective and just reflection of the accident".

In a third statement on Monday afternoon, traffic police said that both forensic evidence and witness accounts indicated that an auxiliary officer who was helping with the drink driving tests threw the bike in the motorcycle's path to stop it.

The officer, surnamed Chen, admitted taking the action.

"The Shantou Public Security Bureau will severely punish those responsible," the statement said.

Neither She nor Li were wearing helmets at the time.

The statement did not say how serious the injuries were but both were being treated in hospital.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.