Wu Ping (吴平), vice president of Zhejiang University, was killed in an automobile accident in the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province last Thursday, June 12. China Radio International (CRI) didn’t give details of the accident in its news report published on the same day, but one day later, China Daily described surveillance footage from the scene of the accident, Hangzhou Western Beltway, according to which, Wu almost missed the exit where he wanted to leave the beltway and head to the university.
The footage, published on websites like sina.com, suggests that Wu Ping cut into a truck’s safety zone, long after the opportunity to leave the highway in accordance with the traffic regulations had passed.
China Daily quoted a colleague of Wu as saying that lack of sleep could be the cause of the accident – he was a diligent man who often worked very late.
Wu reportedly died at the scene. The truck driver, Wang Guocai (汪国财) from Anhui Province, was taken to Tongde Hospital (浙江省立同德医院) with injuries. According to reports, he expressed sadness about Wu Ping’s death, in interviews with Xin’an Evening Post (新安晚报) and the official provincial website Anhui Net.
“In 1993, me and my wife, one after another, lost our jobs. In 1995, I obtained my driver’s license and began to drive”, Wang Guocai recalled. This time, Yao, his boss in Shexian County told him to take logs to Hangzhou. On June 12 in the early morning, at about 00:20, he went onto the highway, arrived at Lin’an motorway service station at three in the morning, slept on the truck until about five in the morning, and then continued. At about six in the morning, he was on Hangzhou Western Beltway, approaching northern Sandun Expressway Exit, when he suddenly startled [Update, 20140804: 感到车身一震 – this could mean “to feel an impact on the car/vehicle” – advice welcome], then lost control of the truck, and finally hit the isolation strip. During those seconds, Wang Guocai had felt that “this was it”.
Wu Ping was born in March 1957. He spent most of his time as an academic with work in the agricultural field, with several years of experience abroad, at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, from 1989 to 1994. He had become a CCP member in July 1986.
» Wu Ping, Zhejiang University