Driver given deferred prosecution in U.S. professor’s fatal accident

Taipei-- A Taipei bus driver was given a one-year deferred prosecution for an accident that killed a visiting U.S. professor last July, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office said Monday.

The prosecutors said that based on a police report, bus driver Ho Chi-nan (???), was in the right when he was driving as a traffic light turned green, but was negligent for failing to yield to a pedestrian, Bruce Bridgeman, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who was in Taipei to give a speech.

In view of the fact that both parties have reached a settlement out of court (the amount was not disclosed due to a confidential agreement), the prosecutors handed down a deferred prosecution to Ho, but ordered him to pay NT$20,000 (US$644) to the national coffers.

Bridgeman, known for his neuroscience research, and his wife were in Taiwan at the invitation of Taipei Medical University as part of a speaking tour in Asia last July.

On July 10, 2016, he was following his usual morning exercise routine when he was hit by Ho's bus on a crossing on a multi-lane intersection near the Howard Plaza Hotel on Renai Road where he and his wife were staying.

He was rushed to the nearby Renai branch of Taipei City Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police said that Renai Road is a one-way road, although there are bus lanes going in both directions.

The accident occurred because the U.S. professor was not aware of the planning of the road and the bus driver did not pay enough attention, the police said. Bridgeman's wife has not filed charges.

According to the CNN website in June 2013, Bridgeman suffered from a problem with depth perception, making him unable to discern the depth of a single image unless approaching close.

Bridgeman joined the faculty at UC Santa Cruz in 1973 and remained involved with the school throughout this career, the school said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel