Freight company sorry for death of female client
Freight company Huolala apologized on Wednesday to the family of woman who died after jumping out of one of its moving vans, and said there was no audio recording made inside the vehicle.
The online freight-hauling platform said that the safety function of its products needed improvement and that it lacked audio recordings of journeys while clients were in its vehicles.
The platform only learned about the event from police on Feb 8 — two days after it happened — and the platform’s slow response caused further distress to the victim’s family, it said.
The 23-year-old victim, Che Shasha, booked a moving van on the platform and rode in the vehicle to her new house in Changsha, Hunan province, on Feb 6. She jumped out of the van en route later that night and died on Feb 10 after efforts to save her failed.
The case has gone viral online and aroused renewed concerns about online ride-hailing services. In 2018, two women were murdered by drivers from Chinese ride-hailing platform Didi.
The statement said the platform had communicated with Che’s family three times and obtained the understanding of the family on Tuesday, and the two sides would properly deal with the aftermath together.
Huolala promised to rectify problems, such as by launching mandatory audio recordings when clients ride in vehicles and strengthening existing safety features.
Hunan’s road transport administration said on Wednesday that Huolala has not been certified in Hunan province, but there was no regulatory requirement to install audio or video recording equipment in freight vehicles.
A statement released by Huolala on Sunday said that the driver, surnamed Zhou, promptly called the 120 emergency number and sent Che to hospital after she fell from the van.
There were no video or audio recordings in the van, and no surveillance cameras on the route. The driver told police that Che had asked him why he took some detours before jumping out of the van.
Police in Changsha detained Zhou on Tuesday on suspicion of negligently causing her death. The case is under further investigation.
Liu Ruzhong, a lawyer from Tahota Law firm in Beijing, said the online platform had assumed the role of a carrier and should undertake its civil responsibilities and compensate the victim’s family.
As far as the crime of negligently causing the woman’s death, the driver’s sentence would depend on the seriousness of the circumstances, but details of the case had not been released, he said.
Liu said Huolala’s business differs from Didi’s, but the regulations for online ride-hailing for passenger vehicles could be used as a reference for this case because the platform acts as a freight carrier and the victim rode in the van.
In July 2016, seven central departments issued a document on online ride-hailing that stipulated that vehicles should be equipped with satellite positioning devices, maintain driving records and have emergency alarms.