A court in Hebei province has ruled a defendant need not compensate the family of a man who died after fleeing a traffic accident he was involved in.
The defendant, Zhu Zhenbiao, 30, witnessed a crash between two motorcyclists in the province's Luannan county on Jan 9 last year, and Zhu drove his car in pursuit of Zhang Yonghuan－the motorcyclist believed to have caused the original accident－after seeing him flee from the scene, according to the ruling made and posted by the county's court on Monday.
The other motorcyclist survived but was injured and later sent to hospital, it said.
Zhang, 54, abandoned his motorbike and tried to run across railway tracks while being pursued. However, he was killed by an oncoming train, the ruling said.
The railway department testified that Zhang should take full responsibility for his own death. But considering the relative poverty of his surviving family, the department approved to pay them 40,000 yuan ($6,316), it said.
But the deceased's family disagreed with the result and took Zhu to court on Oct 31, claiming Zhu should "share the loss" in the death of their relative, and asked him to pay more than 600,000 yuan in compensation, the court said.
The court failed to reach a ruling during initial mediation between the two parties, so it filed the case a month later and convened to hear it on Monday.
"Zhu called police and persuaded Zhang to surrender several times during the chase. The two had no physical confrontation," the court said during the trial. "The pursuit couldn't be identified as the cause of Zhang's death."
"Instead, Zhu's behavior could be characterized as that of a good Samaritan, which should be encouraged," the court said and made the ruling that the defendant need not pay compensation.
Zhou Cunpeng, the defendant's lawyer, said both he and Zhu were happy after hearing the verdict. "My client took a lot of time and felt anxious after he was taken to the court, but now he is finally free from pressure."
He also said: "Evidence, including six video recordings on Zhu's cell phone and camera footage of the accident scene and the rail region, were clear and strong in proving what really happened at the time, which was why I was confident of winning the lawsuit."