Unlicensed driver who killed 3 in Taipei locked up after nobody pays bail

Court questions prosecutors' arguments for a homicide case

Hsieh (second from left) and Huang (first left) on their way to questioning Friday.

Hsieh (second from left) and Huang (first left) on their way to questioning Friday. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The young unlicensed driver who killed three people when a road race went wrong was ordered detained Saturday morning as nobody had turned up to pay his bail set at NT$150,000 (US$4,850).

Hsieh Ya-hsuan (謝亞軒), 21, reportedly raced another car on Taipei City’s busy Nanjing East Road section 4 during Thursday’s evening rush hour. He lost control over his vehicle and smashed on to a sidewalk, hitting and killing three people who were loading recycling materials into a truck.

It later emerged that Hsieh had a long record of various violations involving violence, drugs and drunk driving going back to his teen years.

Prosecutors requested detention for both Hsieh and the other racer, surnamed Huang (黃), on suspicion of homicide, but the court ruled there was no need to lock them up, and set bail Friday evening at NT$150,000 for Hsieh and NT$100,000 for Huang.

However, as nobody emerged to pay the sum for Hsieh, the Taipei District Court on Saturday morning decided he should be kept detained, though not incommunicado.

In its original bail decision, the court said that while both men might try and destroy evidence or collude, there was no evidence they had conspired to target the victims, according to a Central News Agency report.