Truck driver placed first call to tow company following train crash

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Truck driver Lin Yi-hsiang (林義祥) is suspected to have lied about his first call following the Taroko Express train crash.

Lin allegedly made a call within 30 minutes to a tow company, claiming his “truck fell onto the train tracks!”

The statement contradicted another one made earlier by his lawyer in which Li claimed that he called for help at the time of the accident.

The fire department in Hualien County also confirmed on Tuesday that the first accident report received was from a woman who called two minutes after the accident unfolded at 9:28 a.m. on April 2.

Another two minutes later, a male passenger also called for help, but neither caller was Li, the fire department said.

The head of a tow company in Hualien City, surnamed Shi, revealed during an interview on Tuesday that Li often called him when he was contracted to work in front of Qingshui Tunnel. However, he explained that they only met through work, and were not familiar with each other.

Shi added that around 10 a.m. on April 2, he received a call from Li who very nervously said his truck fell onto train tracks and needed immediate assistance to tow it away.

He claimed that Li made no mention of the train crash, so Shi sent two tow trucks to assist him only to arrive an hour later at the scene of the accident.

Judging from the time Shi received the call, Li called after the crash, but Shi said he did not know when the truck rolled off.

Shi added that after witnessing the situation, he knew that Li would “lose a lot of money”, so he decided not to collect the money owed to him for towing the truck.

He also stayed at the scene to “help for 4 days and 3 nights” to assist in disaster relief.

Shi said he thought it “meaningless to take money after so many people died” and regarded it as doing something for the greater good.