Lê Ngọc Hoàng. — Photo zing.vn
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s chief justice Nguyễn Hòa Bình on Tuesday confirmed the Supreme People’s Court was looking into a controversial prison sentence handed down to a truck driver involved in a fatal crash in Thái Nguyên.
The verdict has ignited public outcry in recent days.
“We have asked the Thái Nguyên People’s Court to hand over all of the documents regarding the case of a container truck that hit a car that was reversing on an expressway to study further,” he said.
He declined to comment further on the case, saying the Supreme Court would have more information after receiving the legal documents and working with judicial bodies and legal experts.
According to a police investigation, on November 19, 2016, 40-year-old Ngô Văn Sơn was driving a seven-seater Toyota Innova carrying ten passengers from Bắc Ninh Province to Thái Nguyên Province to attend a wedding.
While driving on the Hà Nội – Thái Nguyên Expressway at around 3.30pm, he missed the Yên Bình exit and decided to reverse the car to reach the exit.
At the same time, Lê Ngọc Hoàng, 33, was driving an articulated lorry behind the car at 60- 65km per hour.
Hoàng said that he saw the car turn its brake lights on and tried to swerve into another lane, he noticed a car behind was overtaking his lorry so he had no choice but to hit the brakes and consequently crashed into the back of the Innova.
The collision badly damaged the car, killing four people inside instantly.
The Phổ Yên Township People’s Court on May 10 this year found Sơn guilty of three charges, including reversing on an expressway, drink driving and carrying too many passengers. The car driver was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Hoàng, meanwhile, received a sentence of eight years behind bars for failing to keep a safe trailing distance from the car in front.
The Thái Nguyên People’s Court opened an appeal on October 1 after three adjournments, reducing the prison terms to nine years for Sơn and six years for Hoàng.
The final sentence drew public uproar with many protesting the lorry driver’s sentence, saying it was “ridiculous” and “impossible” to keep a safety distance with a vehicle that was reversing. — VNS