TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After facing a huge backlash for refusing to acknowledge that its truck driver was at fault when he struck a motorcycle, the seafood company that owns the truck has finally issued an apology.
On Saturday (Sept. 26), the rider of a heavy-duty motorcycle was hit by a truck on Provincial Highway 88 as it tried to illegally pass on the shoulder of the road, hurling the rider to the pavement and inflicting extensive injuries. Initially, the seafood company that owns the truck denied wrongdoing in a Facebook comment, alleging the motorcyclist "did not give way."
The Facebook group Taiwan Motorcycle on Sunday (Sept. 27) posted a dashcam video of the accident. In the video, a motorcycle can be seen roaring down the road at a high speed and switching to the right lane to overtake a slow-moving semi-trailer truck in the passing lane.
Truck trying to pass motorcycle on shoulder. (Facebook, Taiwan Motorcycle screenshot)
Soon, a white delivery truck suddenly appears in the frame, moving even faster than the motorcycle. Rather than decelerating and waiting to pass the large semi in the passing lane to overtake the motorcycle, the truck barrels straight down the road at full speed.
Just as it is about to hit the motorcycle from the rear, the truck swerves to the right onto the shoulder at the last second. The driver of the truck then immediately tries to swerve back into the right lane, but he miscalculates the speed and distance of the motorcycle and clips its front wheel with its rear section.
The motorcycle immediately lunges forward and sends the driver rolling repeatedly on the hard asphalt. When he finally comes to a stop, he is still conscious and sits upright, but he is obviously in a great deal of pain.
Truck hitting front of motorcycle. (Facebook, Taiwan Motorcycle screenshot)
The driver of the vehicle that captured the footage can be seen getting out of his vehicle and offering assistance to the injured motorist. Far ahead, the white truck appears to have pulled over onto the shoulder.
After the video was uploaded on Sunday, many netizens criticized the driver for "intentionally trying to kill" the motorcyclist. After carrying out an extensive internet search, netizens discovered that the truck is owned by a seafood company called Yuanwang Aquatic Products Co., Ltd. (源旺水產行).
When netizens confronted the company over the accident, it initially defended its driver's actions by saying, "It's because the heavy-duty motorcycle driver did not give way. It was not us who forced his car [off the road]." This only further angered the netizens, who further criticized the company for gross negligence.
Motorcyclist tumbling on highway. (Facebook, Taiwan Motorcycle screenshot)
Scene of accident (left), injuries sustained by motorcyclist (right). (Facebook photos)
Early on Monday morning (Sept. 28), the company issued an official apology acknowledging that its driver was at fault and that it would do its best to compensate the driver to the best of its ability. The victim also took to Facebook to post a photo of his body covered with injuries.
He lamented that Taiwan's drivers have a very poor concept of road etiquette and pointed out that he was already in the right line when the truck suddenly sped off the National Freeway 3 ramp to merge onto Provincial Highway 88.
He said the truck immediately plowed into his lane and began honking from behind. According to the motorcyclist, the driver then swerved onto the shoulder, but before it finished passing him, it swerved back onto the right lane, colliding with his motorcycle.