File photo of a school zone in Seoul (Yonhap)
Despite public outrage, Seoul police said on Wednesday that they do not consider a drunk driving car accident that killed a 9-year-old in a school zone last week a hit-and-run.
On Sunday, Police filed an arrest warrant for the suspect in his 30s, who ran over a student who was heading home from Seoul Eonbok Elementary School in Gangnam district on Friday afternoon. After hitting the child, the suspect just drove off, according to witness testimonies and CCTV footage.
The suspect’s blood alcohol concentration level was well over 0.08 percent, which qualifies for revocation of a person’s driver's license.
The suspect now faces charges of dangerous driving resulting in death and aggravated punishment for death of child in a protection area for children.
The police said it was not a hit-and-run, because the driver appeared to have not realized what happened and he returned to the site within 40 seconds after parking his car near his home. The suspect told the police he was unaware that he had run over a child, and after returning to the scene, requested people nearby to call the police.
But the child's family members are protesting the police’s decision. In an online petition calling for the police to change its decision, the family members claimed that it is “impossible” for a driver to not know he ran over a person, according to local reports.