Taipei, Aug. 24 (CNA) The Taoyuan District Court approved a motion Sunday to take into custody a drunk truck driver who was responsible for the death of three people in a traffic accident the previous day.
The ruling came after local prosecutors requested the detention of the 26-year-old man, identified only by his surname Chu (朱), out of concern the suspect might flee.
Chu is suspected of driving under the influence and negligent manslaughter, prosecutors said.
The truck Chu drove rammed into a group of people and four parked cars on Dazhu Road near a public park in Luzhu District on Saturday morning, according to the Taoyuan Police Department's Luzhu Precinct.
Three people, including two volunteer street cleaners, were pronounced dead at local hospitals.
At the scene, Chu took a breathalyzer test and was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.64 mg/l, more than four times the legal limit of 0.15 mg/l, a spokesman for the precinct said.
Chu, who would be a first-time driving under the influence (DUI) offender, could face jail time of between three and 10 years for an accident that resulted in a death under new sentencing guidelines passed in Taiwan earlier this year.
According to police, Chu was probably going too fast and lost control of his vehicle on a curve when he crashed into the parked cars and a group of mostly elderly volunteers in their 60s who were cleaning up the neighborhood.
Among the dead, two were volunteers aged 61 and 62, while another was a 75-year-old man who happened to be nearby doing early morning exercise.
Chu and two other volunteers in the cleaning group sustained minor injuries from the accident, while Chu's 16-year-old girlfriend who was sitting in the passenger seat suffered multiple fractures and was sent to a nearby hospital for treatment.
On Sunday, Shanzhu Village head Lee A-ching (李阿清) condemned the drunk driver.
"These drunk-driving offenders should be kept in jail for the rest of their lives," Lee said in an emotional tone.