Driver who hit, dragged walker in ’16 sen­tenced

‘I be­lieve she caused me harm will­fully,’ vic­tim cries in court

Boston Herald - - NEWS - By TAY­LOR PETTAWAY .— tay­lor.pettaway@boston­her­ald.com

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.

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