2-year-old boy killed by falling rock in northeastern Taiwan

2-year-old boy tragically killed by a falling rock while seated in an SUV in Taiwan's Yilan County

Impact area where rock struck car.

Impact area where rock struck car. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A falling rock struck a vehicle and killed a 2-year-old boy seated on the passenger side of a car traveling at the 25 kilometer mark of Provincial Highway 7 on Wednesday evening (Feb. 28), according to the Yilan Fire Department, reported CNA.

On Wednesday evening at 11:30 p.m., a SUV driven by a woman surnamed Kao (高) was suddenly struck by a falling rock on the passenger side as it reached the 25 kilometer mark of Provincial Highway 7, according to Yilan Fire Department officials.

When police and firefighters arrived at the scene, they found that the windshield on the passenger side of the SUV had been smashed in by the falling rock and that a 2-year-old boy who had been sitting on the passenger side was not showing any vital signs. In addition, the 46-year-old grandmother surnamed Lu (呂) holding the toddler had also suffered bruises to her neck and arms.

The two were immediately rushed to Saint Mary's Hospital Luodong. However Kao and the boy's grandfather, who was sitting in the back, were not injured.

At 1:40 a.m. on Thursday morning, they boy was declared dead. As for Lu, after being treated for her injuries, she was discharged from the hospital to recuperate at home.

Police said that they will gather all information from the case and present it to the Yilan Prosecutor's Office.

An official from the Fourth District Maintenance Construction Office of the Directorate General of Highways Yang Li-an (楊力銨) told CNA reporters than an aerial drone had inspected the area early Thursday morning and found that there had been a rockslide on the upper slope, however there was no evidence that it had reached the road below. Yang said that this was a case of a single rock falling after probably having broken lose after the recent wave of earthquakes.

Yang said that after the incident, the engineering department immediately sent a crew to clean up the road. He said that Provincial Highway 7 is now open to traffic, but they will further investigate the situation with the rockfall on the upper slope and carry out relevant improvements when necessary.