Three reported dead after young unlicensed driver crashes on to Taipei sidewalk

Incident happened during evening rush hour on busy Nanjing East Road

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Three people were critically injured when a car hit them on a sidewalk on Taipei's Nanjing East Road Thursday evening.

Three people were critically injured when a car hit them on a sidewalk on Taipei's Nanjing East Road Thursday evening. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Three people died after an unlicensed driver smashed his car on to a sidewalk in a busy shopping area during the evening rush hour, media reports said Thursday.

There were conflicting versions of the incident, but media reported that the driver who caused the accident was about 21 years old and held no driver’s license, even though he was at the wheel of a rental car.

While some sources spoke of an accident, others said the man had been racing his Toyota against a white car on the bus lane on Nanjing East Road section 4, across the road from the Taipei Arena and close to Dunhua North Road, at around 5 p.m.

He lost control of his car, which hit the driver of a blue truck and his wife as they were loading recycling material, and a security guard at a nearby building before coming to a standstill between a pillar and the wall of a shop, the Apple Daily reported.

The three people who were hit were taken to different hospitals, where they were diagnosed with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Later, all three were pronounced dead, according to media reports. The driver of the blue truck was 66, while his wife and the guard were 64, the United Daily News reported.

The driver, surnamed Hsieh (謝), passed an alcohol test, but had a record of traffic violations, some media reported.

Police were going to check surveillance camera footage from the area to search for the white car mentioned by witnesses, the Central News Agency reported.