The China Post news staff
A vehicle ran into the fence of National Highway No. 3 yesterday evening, causing a fire and disrupting highway traffic. The driver of the vehicle was later found miles away from the accident site in a trance, the police said. According to Chang Kuang-ming (張光明), captain of the Houlong police unit in Miaoli, the police received a tip that a vehicle was on fire at the Tongxiao section of National High Way No. 3. They found a van, with its engines still running, collided into the highway fence and engulfed in flames. The fire was extinguished 20 minutes after firefighters arrived on site. As no driver or passengers were found at the accident, police started searching nearby hospitals and Tongxiao interchanges, eventually locating the 51-year-old man surnamed Lin, driver of the burnt vehicle, at a local snack bar.
It was the owner of the snack bar who had called the police. He was worried about Lin, who had ordered a bowl of pig’s feet rice (豬腳飯) but had not even taken one bite when he requested to use the restroom, but remained inside for over an hour. The police found Lin naked on the restroom’s floor with his head covered in soapy foam. Police reported he was mentally instable, and provided incoherent answers to their questions. Upon inquiring to Lin’s relatives, the police found out that Lin, an ordinary furnishing worker, had endured a tumultuous few recent years: both his parents, as well as an uncle, passed away in 2010, and he found out on Chinese New Year’s Eve — Jan. 22 — that his sister had cancer. From Taichung, Lin visited a temple in Nantou County to pray for good luck; on the way back north, however, he fell into a trance and collided into the highway fence at the National Highway No. 3’s Miaoli-Tongxiao stretch
Lin only suffered slight abrasions on his arms and head, and after a day’s rest, safely returned home to be with family.