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Drunk driver who fatally struck Filipino cyclist released on bail in New Taipei

Man suspected in hit-and-run death of cyclist released on NT$200,000 bail

Chien (center) being escorted by police. (New Taipei City Police Department photo)

Chien (center) being escorted by police. (New Taipei City Police Department photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man suspected of fatally injuring a Filipino cyclist in a hit-and-run incident on Sunday (March 20) has been released on bail.

Early Sunday morning, four Philippine nationals who are employed at a factory in the Luzhu District of Taoyuan set out on their bicycles to take part in the 12th Double Home Court Western Coast Highway Cycling Championship. At 4:27 a.m., as they neared Rui-Ping Elementary School in New Taipei's Linkou District, one of them was suddenly struck from behind by a car, sending him flying to the side of the road.

By the time paramedics arrived at the scene, the cyclist had lost all vital signs. They rushed the man to Mackay Memorial Hospital in Tamsui District, where doctors pronounced him dead.

According to a preliminary investigation, the driver of the vehicle, surnamed Chien (簡), had spent the evening drinking heavily at a fishing pond. The accident occurred as he was driving back to his residence in New Taipei's Bali District.

The vehicle showed obvious signs of the impact with the cyclist, such as a shattered windshield. Apparently aware that he would face further charges for driving under the influence, Chien fled the scene, and police located the 31-year-old motorist several hours later.

By the time police arrested Chien at 9:40 p.m., his blood alcohol level was still found to be over the legal limit of 0.25 milligrams per liter.

Police found that Chien did not have a record of drunk-driving offenses. After questioning him, they transferred him to the district prosecutor's office to be investigated for endangering public safety, leaving the scene of an accident, and negligent homicide. Chien was then released on NT$200,000 (US$7,000) bail that same day, according to CNA.