National rowing champ dies after crashing scooter, falling into 14-meter-deep sewer construction pit

A 28-year-old athlete who won gold at the 2018 Asian Games was found dead at the bottom of a sewer construction pit five hours after he crashed his scooter in Taoyuan City, yesterday, February 16.

Construction workers arriving at the work site on Guoji Road at around 8:30 am Thursday morning found signs that someone had crashed through the construction fence. After noticing that the anti-fall safety net was also broken, the workers immediately started pumping water out of the 14-meter-deep pit. At around 10:30 am, the workers found a scooter and the body of a man at the bottom of the pit.

Fire Department paramedics rushed the man to hospital, but he was declared dead at 12:04 pm.

Firefighters use a crane to lift a man on a stretcher from 14-meter-deep sewer construction pit.

The deceased was identified Chen Yu’an, a national rowing champion who had represented Taiwan at the Asian Games and World Games.

According to the investigation so far, Chen went out early yesterday morning to participate in an event. At 5:22 am Chen crashed through a guardrail and construction fence of the sewer construction project.

The Taoyuan City Department of Water Resources claimed yesterday that an inspection was carried out after the incident, and that safety measures such as the construction fence and warning lights had been in normal operation. However, Chen’s family members are contesting the claims after viewing traffic monitor footage which they say show that the warning lights were not working at the time of the accident.

Chen’s family are urging police to thoroughly investigate the matter to make sure there is no cover-up. “What we need is the truth,” a family member said, according to a report in China Times.

 Police said that the case will be reported to the Taoyuan District Prosecutor’s Office for investigation to clarify the cause of Chen Yu’an’s death, and the detailed cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Chen Yu'an rowing
Chen Yu’an won 2 gold medals and 1 silver at the 2018 Asia Games.
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2 thoughts on “National rowing champ dies after crashing scooter, falling into 14-meter-deep sewer construction pit

  • February 17, 2023 at 5:02 pm

    Normally I don’t follow sports because of all the falderal involved, but this story is truly tragic. He doesn’t seem like one of those “road racer” types, and it would be very early in the day for such an activity. It seems like more and more young athletes all over the world are falling victim to “Sudden Death Syndrome,” which generally leads to suspicions of the XXAV. We will never know for sure, because any discoveries or implications will be covered up straightaway. That means fewer people will ever be able to learn anything from the demise of this young man. My sincere sympathies for his family.

  • February 17, 2023 at 7:17 pm

    On re-reading the article, I see they know the exact MINUTE he crashed through the guardrail, and it was a big construction site. So there were no cameras there to record anything? Yet we see video footage of accidents that occur in out-of-the-way places. Mysterious….


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