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Trucker gets 12 years for killing 4, injuring 25 in drunk driving in Vietnam

Friday, November 29, 2019, 11:37 GMT+7
Trucker gets 12 years for killing 4, injuring 25 in drunk driving in Vietnam
Pham Thanh Hieu stands trial at the People’s Court in Ben Luc District, located in the Mekong Delta province of Long An on November 28, 2019. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre

A truck driver was sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing four and injuring 25 others after crashing his vehicle into a group of motorcyclists waiting at a red light in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta in January.

Pham Thanh Hieu, 32, was tried by the People’s Court in Ben Luc District, Long An Province on Thursday for his role in the accident.

In addition to his 12-year prison sentence, Hieu will be prohibited from driving a truck for three years after he serves his time.

Thanh Duc Company, Hieu’s former employer, will also be required to pay a total of VND2.4 billion (US$103,550) in compensation to the victims and their families.

According to the indictment, Hieu and five of his friends consumed 1.5 liters of alcohol on the afternoon of January 2.

The scene of the accident on in Ben Luc District, Long An Province on January 2, 2019. Photo: Son Lam / Tuoi Tre

The scene of the accident in Ben Luc District, Long An Province on January 2, 2019. Photo: Son Lam / Tuoi Tre

About three hours later, Hieu began his route on National Highway 1 to transport rice from the Mekong Delta to Cat Lai Port in Ho Chi Minh City.

After reaching Binh Nhut Intersection in Ben Luc District, Long An, he decided to move his truck into the middle lane at 50km per hour. 

He failed to see the group of motorcyclists stopping at a red light ahead and crashed into 21 motorbikes. 

Four people were killed and 25 others were injured in the crash.

The People’s Procuracy in Ben Luc District had originally petitioned for Hieu to be sentenced to 10 to 11 years behind bars but the jury chose to hand down a stronger punishment, citing Hieu’s carelessness and neglect of the law.

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