Family donates insurance money from daughter's death to charity

Liberty Times, March 31, 2005

Taipei, Taiwan -- Recently an accident in Chutung Township of Hsinchu County resulted in the death of two individuals. The family members of a woman who was killed in the accident have not sought damages from the person who caused the accident. The family did, however, receive NT$1.4 million (US$44,025) in a payout from an insurance company. However, instead of keeping the money themselves, the family of the woman, surnamed Hsu, has donated the funds to a charitable agency in the names of their family member, the woman's boyfriend and the person who caused the accident.

The action caused surprise among many, including the police involved in handling the incident, since most people in today's society would prefer to sue others for damages for the slightest inconveniences, not to mention the death of a loved one.

A policeman surnamed Huang, who works in the Zhudong police department, said that the woman who was killed worked at the Industrial Technology Research Institute. On February 28, the 26-year-old woman was riding on a motorcycle with her boyfriend, surnamed Lin, heading from Hsinchu City to Zhudong Township. When they were driving along Zhongxing Road, their motorcycle was hit by a man who was making an illegal U-turn.

Hsu and Lin crashed to the ground. Hsu was immediately taken to Hsinchu General Hospital for emergency treatment. However, despite the accident, Hsu's family did not blame the man who was driving the vehicle. While they were all at the hospital while doctors tried to revive Hsu, both sides reached a settlement. However, the agreement reached between the two parties did not make any mention of monetary reparations. At the time, the police officer already expressed his surprise as to the development.

The police officer said that Hsu incurred serious injuries to her head and despites efforts over a week-long period, Hsu passed away. It was not known whether she was wearing a helmet or not. Despite losing their beloved daughter in the accident, Hsu's parents were not interested in seeking damages from the driver of the vehicle. Rather, all they hoped was that the man causing the accident would go home and plant a tree and tend to the tree to make sure it would grow tall. The family believed that this was the best way to represent an extended life for their daughter.

The police officer said that the most unbelievable part of the story is that the NT$1.4 million of insurance money that the family received for the death of their daughter was donated in full to a charitable organization in the name of their daughter, her boyfriend and the man who caused the accident. He said that this magnanimous gesture is something that is rarely seen in today's world. He said the man who caused the accident was so moved by the actions of Hsu's family that he began wailing. He also blames himself for the accident, which he said was caused due to his carelessness.

The police officer said that he has had to process hundreds of minor and major vehicular accidents over the years. He said that in today's litigious society, even the smallest of accidents or the most minor of injuries usually results in enormous arguments by both parties. He said that in some causes people result to violence to try and square the situation and in order cases when people seek damages, the amount that they seek is ridiculous given the limited damage or injury. He said that if more people would emulate the way that the Hsu family has handled the accident that involved their daughter, society would certainly be filled with more compassion and forgiveness.

The Hsu family, when being interviewed on Wednesday about the events, remained quite low-key about the situation. They simply said that they wanted to carry out the principle of repaying injury with kindness, which is a concept that is promoted in Buddhism.
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