Imagine crossing a busy city street in China and suddenly being told to turn around when an out-of-control Mercedes driver crashed through a wall in front of you.
Did that sound like an accident to you?
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It sounds like what happened Tuesday to five pedestrians on a Shanghai sidewalk.
After smashing through the iron gate and crumbling over a fence, the Mercedes-Benz plowed into the cyclists, pedestrians and people holding umbrellas.
Related: 20 Pedestrians Injured After SUV Plows Through Pedestrians in China
What happened next seemed even more incredulous: the victim’s bodies continued on their way while the Mercedes remained on the sidewalk, south of the road. Police said the Mercedes driver suddenly steered the vehicle toward the pedestrians, who then faced the windshield. The driver’s first thought was to get the car out of there, according to an eyewitness video released by police.
The Mercedes driver then drove on.
“For some strange reason, she did not brake or swerve,” said an unidentified witness quoted by the Shanghai Morning Post.
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That witness, a man named Cai Fuwu, said the Mercedes driver was a young man of about 20 with a bad attitude, who seemed to be inebriated.
“I was on my bike next to her when she hit the sidewalk and went head over heels to the car next to us,” Cai told the Morning Post. “I asked her if everything was OK, she said ‘no’ and kept driving. The moment she hit us, the crash stuck to our bodies. It was horrible. I’ve never seen anything like that before.
“People crawled out of the vehicle and started walking towards the central business district,” Cai said. “I watched as people were running around the car, but the driver continued and kept heading south.”
Five pedestrians were seriously injured when a Mercedes-Benz sedan smashed through a fence before driving on, hitting at least two bicyclists. PETER PARKS / AFP – Getty Images
As of Thursday, the Mercedes driver had not been caught or charged.
The circumstances of the incident are all the more tragic because it occurred during China’s Week of Public Spaces Festival, which aims to raise awareness of the need for sidewalks in high-density cities.
By all accounts, the Shanghai pedestrian memorial where the cyclists were seen frantically grabbing hold of the wall for support before falling through — the only fence with any surrounding coverage — was also deliberately forgotten.