Taiwanese bus driver suddenly leaps to his death on New Year's Eve

Bus driver stops vehicle, leaps to his death in front of horrified passengers on New Year's Eve in northern Taiwan's Keelung City

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(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A shuttle bus driver suddenly stopped his vehicle and leaped to his death in front of horrified passengers on New Year's Eve in northern Taiwan's Keelung City.

A 38-year-old shuttle bus driver surnamed Chang (張) from Taipei was driving toward Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Keelung City while carrying seven passengers late on New Year's Eve, when he suddenly stopped the vehicle, jumped off a 20-meter-high ramp, and fell to his death, reported CNA. Police said that passengers witnessed an argument between Chang and his 33-year-old Vietnamese girlfriend surnamed Chen (陳), reported ETtoday.

Chang was reportedly transporting seven employees of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital from their dormitory to the facility by shuttle bus at 11 p.m. on Dec. 31. Suddenly, Chang drove the shuttle bus up a ramp on Provincial Highway 3 and hopped out of the vehicle to try to jump.

Passengers then reported seeing Chen rush forward and pull Chang back twice, but he pushed her away and made the leap on his third attempt, according to ETtoday. Chang was then seen lying motionless on the pavement below, and passengers called for an ambulance.


Paramedics tending to bus driver. (CNA image)

When paramedics arrived on the scene, they found that Chang was not exhibiting any vital signs and rushed him to Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

According to a police investigation, Chang was divorced and was raising a child that is in high school. His family said that he had disclosed that he was planning on taking his own life due to financial difficulties. His mother tried to talk him out of it by saying, "If you die, I will die with you," to which he responded that he would not do "silly things," according to the ETtoday report.

Chen, Chang's girlfriend of two years, reportedly said that she was worried he was still suicidal, so she tried to keep an eye on him whenever he drove, and she said was shocked to see him take his life. Police are investigating the incident based on surveillance footage, interviews with family members, and eyewitness accounts.

Those considering suicide should immediately call the Taiwan Suicide Prevention Center at any time at 0800-788995 or Taiwan Lifeline International at 1995. Foreign residents can call the Community Services Center's emergency hotline at 0932-594-578 at any time 24 hours a day.