TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Yang Yu-jie (楊宇潔), a reserve athlete on Taiwan's national judo team, is facing charges after she crashed her SUV on a highway in Taitung County Tuesday (March 16), killing one of her passengers.
According to the authorities, there were six people inside the vehicle when Yang lost control and crashed into a retaining wall on Provincial Highway 11 at 2 a.m. Five were rushed to the hospital for treatment, including Yang and her teammate, surnamed Chang (張), who was later pronounced dead after suffering an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
Among the four passengers who suffered minor injuries, Yang was left with lacerations on her head and is being kept in the hospital for further observation. She was found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.55 milligrams per liter, more than twice the legal limit, and will be charged for negligent homicide (過失致死罪) and offenses against public safety (公共危險罪).
Speaking to the media, the National Sports Training Center said Yang, 22, is a senior at National Taitung University and that she was selected to represent the country at the 2022 Asian Games in China. It said the decision-making committee would determine the penalty for the athlete's reckless behavior, with the possibility of disqualification.
Meanwhile, the Taiwanese Judo Federation expressed condolences over the tragic accident and urged athletes around the country to pay attention to their own safety. It also pointed out that counseling services are being offered to Yang to ensure her mental well-being.
(Taitung County Police Department photo)