Xiao Ying Zhou, 47, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, battery with personal injury, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and leaving the scene of an accident, in a Suffolk courtroom yesterday. Zhou was charged with hitting Yue Yin Gong, 51, with her Toyota Rav4 and dragging her under her vehicle for 2 miles before she was stopped. “I’m so sorry,” Zhou said weeping several times during the hearing, reports CBS Boston.
On February 1, 2016, both Zhou and Gong’s life would change for the worse. Gong was walking a Chinatown crosswalk with her husband Qi Lun Feng when Zhou accidentally hit both of them with her car, reports the Boston Herald. Zhou decided to flee the scene not knowing Gong was under the car. She dragged Gong for 2 miles onto Boston’s expressway until she was stopped. Miraculously, Gong ended up living but she suffered “life-altering injuries”.
Zhou now needs a walker to move around and needs help with simple activities. “I need help bathing and getting dressed. It’s a lot of hurt,” Gong spoke through an interpreter. After the incident, she endured painful skin grafts to her face, torso, and legs and she still hasn’t regained full strength in her right hand. “I believe she caused me harm willfully. She caused me lots of pain.”
51-y-o victim of 2016 Chinatown Hit & run just arrived at #Boston Suffolk Superior Court for impact statements & sentencing of the driver who pleaded guilty in the case this week. #wbz pic.twitter.com/dikHRbzb7J
— Christina Hager (@HagerWBZ) October 11, 2018
“She made a big and a bad impact on the next 20 years of my life,” Gong said sobbing.
Both sides were sobbing during the hearing. The prosecutors wanted 10 – 12 years while the defense wanted a lesser prison sentence. The defense told the judge that Zhou suffered a “lifetime of abuse” and had her child taken from her by the Chinese government. Additionally, Zhou was remorseful and accepted responsibility for the accident. The judge sided with the defense and gave Zhou 5 – 6 years citing lack of malicious intent. “I am so sorry, I am so sorry,” Zhou said through her interpreter, crying uncontrollably during her sentencing.
“I am in high recognition of the serious injuries caused and because two victims were involved, but I also can’t find that you knew someone was trapped under her vehicle,” the judge said.
Zhou already served two and a half years so she’ll likely only do another 2 – 3 years before she’s freed.