How Corruption in China Destroyed a Flower Vendor’s Life

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Why did a flower vendor's wife have to pay when he was killed by a truck? (Image: Sarabbit via Compfight cc)

In August 1999, my son injured his head. I stayed at his bedside in Shenzhen hospital every night. One night, a man was admitted to the bed next to him. The doctor pulled the curtains, and to my surprise, they operated on him right there.

I discovered what had happened from the man’s wife the next morning.

She told me her husband helped her deliver flowers. That night, he was carrying two baskets of flowers across the street when he was hit by a truck. The truck driver admitted it was his fault and the police let him go after he wrote a note promising to pay $5ooo for the accident. They kept the note as evidence. The accident happened around 10 p.m., but the man didn’t receive any care until after midnight.

His head injury was so serious that his brain had stopped, even though his heart was beating slowly.

The man died in the morning and his wife cried out loud. It was a heavy blow. Everything happened so fast. An hour later, she told me more sad news. The driver bribed the police, and they overturned the verdict. The flower merchant was blamed for crossing the street against a red light, thus she had to pay all the medical expenses.

I only had $1000 cash on hand, so I gave it to her and told her to report this to the government.

I don’t know how her story ended. She still had to find money to pay all the medical bills. Hopefully, she was strong enough to overcome those dark days.

In China, corrupt authorities whose role is to protect the people often destroy them instead.

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