Drivers of a trailer truck and an automobile have been jailed for causing a ‘reversing car’ accident that killed five people along an expressway in the northern Vietnamese province of Thai Nguyen in late 2016.
The People’s Court in Pho Yen Town, Thai Nguyen Province on Friday concluded the trial of Le Ngoc Hoang, 35, and Ngo Van Son, 42.
Hoang, driver of the trailer truck, was jailed for 4.5 years, while Son, who steered the automobile, was sentenced to nine years behind bars for breaking traffic regulations.
They were also required to pay over VND1.5 billion (US$64,500) in total to the victims’ families as compensation.
On November 19, 2016, a trailer truck collided with a compact minivan on the Hanoi-Thai Nguyen Expressway in northern Vietnam, killing five passengers in the car.
The car was carrying more passengers than allowed and was moving backward in reverse gear on the high-speed road, trying to reach an exit it had missed.
During a trial in May 2018, Hoang and Son were sentenced to eight and ten years in prison, respectively.
|Ngo Van Son is seen at the trial in the northern Vietnamese province of Thai Nguyen on February 14, 2020. Photo: Danh Trong / Tuoi Tre|
In November the same year, their sentences were commuted to six years and nine years, respectively, after the second-instance court considered their appeals.
Legal debate previously erupted after the verdict was reached, with lawyers arguing that Hoang should not be found guilty of “failing to maintain a safe trailing distance," for it was nearly impossible to calculate such a distance when the car in front of him was moving backward.
On November 21, the People’s High Court of Hanoi filed for a cassation review of the sentences.
The court’s judicial committee accepted the cassation review on Friday and declared the cancelation of the first-instance and second-instance sentences pronounced by the People’s Court in Thai Nguyen.
During the trial on Friday, the judge asserted that Hoang was partly responsible for the crash as he did not reduce his speed after seeing the ‘slow down’ road sign prior to the accident.