Dad CHEN ZHI was unemployed, drinking too much, and depressed because his mother refused to loan him money to rent an apartment. So the divorced dad grabbed his 8-year-old son and jumped into on-coming traffic. Dad got just got minor injuries, but the boy is now in a coma. Sounds like Dad was custodial, too.
Dad clutches boy in suicide try
By Huang Zhiling (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-08-14 09:19
CHENGDU: An eight-year-old boy is fighting for his life after his distraught father tried to commit suicide by jumping into traffic while holding the boy in his arms.
Yang Yang is in a coma in critical condition in the intensive care unit of Huaxi Hospital of Sichuan University.
The chilling incident began last Saturday when Yang Yang's unemployed father Chen Zhi, 37, became unglued after his 66-year-old mother Zheng Shufen refused to loan him 4,000 yuan to rent an apartment.
He responded by telling her that he would kill himself that afternoon.
Around 4 pm, Chen held his son and jumped from a small bridge into the path of a silver gray car. The car managed to brake just in front of Chen.
Yang Yang was apparently crying to his father, "Dad, I don't want to die. Don't let me die."
Chen then tried to jump in front of bus No 809 but "the bus left just before he could catch up with it," said a witness surnamed Wang.
Ten seconds later, Chen spotted another car. He held his son and jumped into its windshield, creating a dent the size of a washbasin, a witness said.
Chen suffered minor injuries and is being questioned by the police.
Yang Yang, however, is faring much worse. After doctors at the emergency room found a bump the size of a pigeon egg on his head and a bruise on his left arm, they released him to the care of his grandmother shortly after the accident.
But at the urging of police officers, who gave the grandmother 2,000 yuan, Yang Yang was taken to Chengdu No 1 Hospital for a more thorough examination. Groggy and unable to open his eyes, Yang Yang lost consciousness before arriving at the hospital.
Medics at Chengdu No 1 Hospital advised Zheng to send Yang Yang to Huaxi Hospital, where he is currently staying in the ICU.
Doctors have told China Daily that they cannot operate on the child because he suffers from a congenital heart disease and anesthesia is difficult to administer at this time.
"Although the child may die at any moment, we can only try our best to lower his encephalic pressure and brain metabolism," the doctor said.
Chen is the younger of Zheng's two sons. Five years ago, Chen divorced his wife and has lived with Yang Yang in the suburbs. Chen was a taxi driver before he lost his job due to a traffic accident three years ago.
When he had lunch with his son early Saturday, a depressed Chen had been drinking liquor, Yang Yang said right before he fell into a coma.
He said that his father was very kind to him, seldom scolded him and would let him eat first whenever there was anything delicious on the table. He was puzzled why his father wanted him to die.
Zheng thought that there might be a hidden reason for Chen's madness.
"A few years ago, Yang Yang was diagnosed as suffering from a congenital heart disease. His father cannot afford the hefty sum of money for treatment. That might have been another cause for the tragedy (last Saturday)," she said.