The Feb. 6 death of a young woman in Changsha, Hunan province, who leapt from a moving van operated by vehicle-hailing platform Huolala has stirred up tremendous online attention in China over recent days.
According to Huolala, the 23-year-old woman, surnamed Che, jumped out of the vehicle only six minutes after the 10-kilometer ride had started, as the driver was shuttling her to her new residence.
Based on information disclosed by local police, the driver claimed that the young woman attempted to exit the vehicle in a frustrated response to him repeatedly not adhering to the Huolala app’s recommended routes.
However, the true reason behind her decision to jump still remains a mystery due to the lack of any audio or video footage of what transpired in the van.
According to Chinese media outlet Jiemian News, the van was not equipped with any surveillance devices, which makes it impossible to accurately investigate the circumstances that led to Che’s death.
Che was taken to the local hospital after the accident, but passed away a few days later, as Huolala stated on Feb. 20.
Che’s family claimed that the young woman had a positive disposition with a stable job. The 23-year-old had just graduated from university one year ago.
Her uncle told local newspaper Yangtse Evening Post that there was nothing unusual about her niece on the day she moved. “She was still chatting with her aunt at 9:10 p.m. and said that she had just packed her luggage,” he recalled.
On Feb. 23, the driver was brought under criminal detention, awaiting further investigation of suspected manslaughter.
Huolala on Feb. 24 apologized to Che’s family on its official Weibo account and acknowledged its service’s lack of safety features.
The company also revealed that it has reached a reconciliation with Che’s family, and has been working with the family to properly handle the aftermath. As for the specific amount of compensation, the representative of Che’s family members said in an interview with The Paper that it is “inappropriate to disclose.”