Driver who hit, dragged walker in ’16 sentenced
‘I believe she caused me harm willfully,’ victim cries in court
Sobs echoed through a Suffolk courtroom yesterday, the pain evident as both victim and suspect cried over a hit-and-run that changed their lives forever.
Yue Yin Gong’s life changed forever Feb. 1, 2016, after a driver hit her and her husband, Qi Lun Feng, in a Chinatown crosswalk. She was dragged for 2 miles under the vehicle before it came to a stop and she could be rescued.
The crash robbed her of her independence; now she can’t walk, dress, bathe or live without constant care. The victim suffered what prosecutors call “grievous injuries,” CBS Boston reported.
She now requires a walker for mobility and needs help with basic activities. She can no longer grip objects with her right hand and underwent skin grafts due to injuries to her face, torso and legs.
“I believe she caused me harm willfully,” Gong told the court through an interpreter. “She caused me lots of pain.”
Her husband told the court about how the defendant not only injured Gong, but harmed their whole family.
“We also try to sponsor our family to come from China and now that she can’t work, so no income and we can’t sponsor our family to come to America,” Feng said.
Gong was wheeled into the courtroom on a walker, her dark hair hiding her face as tears streamed down her face.
“She made a big and a bad impact on the next 20 years of my life,” Gong said.
Xiao Ying Zhou, 47, of Sandwich was given a five- to sixyear prison sentence yesterday for charges of aggravated assault and battery with personal injury, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident.
Zhou also cried throughout the sentencing, repeating “I am so sorry” to the judge and the victim. She was barely understandable, crying inconsolably through her statements to the judge.
The defense told the court that Zhou had been remorseful and that she took responsibility for what she did.
Prosecutors requested the maximum sentence of 10 to 12 years, but the judge issued a lesser sentence, citing a lack of malicious intent.
“I am in high recognition of the serious injuries caused and because two victims were involved, but I also can’t find that you knew someone was trapped under your vehicle,” the judge said.
Zhou has already served nearly two and a half years of her sentence — 941 days of incarceration — awaiting her trial.