Firefighters pulled two men out of a wrecked truck, after it left the road and plunged 50 meters down a mountainside in Nantou County yesterday, while other rescue personnel searched for a 6-year-old girl who had fallen out of the vehicle.
Witnesses called emergency services after seeing a loaded truck speeding downhill, then crashing through a guardrail on a bend at the 2 kilometer mark of the Hehuan Mountain section of Highway 14 at around 5:10 pm, Saturday, December 7.
Firefighters from Nantou County Fire Department scaled the slope with ropes and worked in the dark to pull two men out of the vehicle.
A 30-year-old man named Liu who was sitting in the passenger seat lost vital signs at the scene, and was declared dead after arriving at the hospital.
The 23-year-old driver named Lin was conscious, but injured and trapped in the vehicle. Lin informed rescuers that his six-year-old daughter had also been travelling in the truck and had apparently fallen out when the truck overturned.
When Lin was finally extricated from the wreck, stabilized, and sent to hospital at around 7:00pm, the girl had still not been found.
At around 7:20pm, searchers heard the girl crying and finally located her. The girl had a bruised face, and complained of having sore arms and legs. After being treated at the hospital, the girl was found to be not seriously injured.
Mr Lin was found to have suffered leg fractures. A blood test at the hospital showed that Lin had a blood alcohol level that converted to BrAC 0.61mg/l (more than two times the legal driving limit of 0.25mg/l, [BAC 0.05%]).
Police said that the 17-tonne truck was loaded with vegetables and had set off from Fuxiang Village in Renai Township heading for Puli Township. While drunk driving appears to be a factor in the accident, brake failure is also believed to be a contributing factor.
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