TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Reckless driving by a man illegally riding a scooter on a freeway in New Taipei City Monday (Oct. 5) led to multiple collisions involving at least 10 vehicles.
A 10-vehicle pile-up occurred on a northbound section National Freeway 1 in New Taipei City's Taishan District shortly after a man was spotted riding his scooter on the motorway. According to a preliminary police investigation, the man ignored police warnings to pull over and weaved in and out of traffic before making a sudden turn that led to a chain reaction of accidents.
At 11:45 a.m. that day, two officers patrolling the freeway in a police cruiser near the 38-kilometer north mark spotted a 43-year-old man surnamed Chao (趙) riding a scooter, which is prohibited on the expressway, reported UDN. The officer immediately sounded his siren and ordered the man to pull over.
Chao spotted riding scooter on freeway. (National Highway Police photo)
However, as can be seen in a video taken from the squad car, instead of pulling over, the man weaved back and forth across multiple lanes. He then accelerated and tried to pass the cruiser on the left side.
Bizarrely, Chao even tried to wave the police off as he nearly succeeded in passing the cruiser. After failing to overtake it, he suddenly swerved towards the shoulder and rapidly decelerated.
Unfortunately for the rogue motorist, there was not enough room on the narrow shoulder to get out of the way of oncoming traffic near the Linkou Interchange. Soon, a pickup clipped Chao's scooter, and he became pinned beneath it.
Chao waving off police as he tries to pass them. (National Highway Police photo)
The officers immediately rushed 200 meters to the scene and set up cones to warn oncoming vehicles of the hazard. Dramatic dashcam footage from a silver minivan shows a police officer starting to pluck the injured Chao out from beneath his scooter before an avalanche of vehicles would have struck him.
Footage from the blue minivan that the silver minivan struck shows that it had been tailgated by a green hatchback, a tour bus, and a twin-trailer truck. If the police officer had not dragged Chao out harm's way in time, he may have been killed.
Other officers had to leap over the guardrail for their lives as the barrage of spinning cars plowed towards them. In addition to Chao, four others sustained minor injuries.
Chao's scooter crushed by a twin-trailer truck. (National Highway Police photo)
The Highway Police Bureau said that after the rider was sent to the hospital, a preliminary blood test ruled out the possibility of drunk driving. In addition to bruises on his face and feet, he also suffered a ruptured spleen and damage to other internal organs.
His vital signs are stable, but he is still in a coma and is being carefully monitored. The Highway Police Bureau stated that it will wait for Chao to recover from his injuries before questioning him and potentially investigating him for committing offenses against public safety (公共危險罪).
Closeup of Chao's crushed scooter. (National Highway Police photo)
Side view of four vehicles involved in pile-up. (National Highway Police photo)
Remnants of hatchback. (National Highway Police photo)
Tour bus and two other vehicles involved in crash.