GUANGZHOU, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese court on Wednesday sentenced a driver to three-and-a-half years behind bars for negligence that resulted in the death of a two-year-old girl in a case that prompted a nationwide soul-searching in 2011.
Hu Jun was convicted of involuntary homicide by the Nanhai District People's Court in the city of Foshan, Guangdong Province, where the girl, named Wang Yue, was hit and crushed by Hu's minibus and another vehicle on Oct. 13.
Wang was then left to bleed on the street as 18 pedestrians and cyclists passed her without stopping to help. She was eventually helped by an elderly scrap collector but died of brain failure days later.
Hu's trial started on May 25.
An earlier statement by the court said Hu was driving in dim lighting conditions amid torrential rain without turning on the headlights of his vehicle. He thought he had hit something but failed to stop and check.
The court said it also issued a lenient sentence because Hu gave himself up to police and paid part of the victim's medical expenses.
Hu confessed to his criminal acts in court but pled guilty to traffic accident crimes instead of homicide.
The tragedy of Wang Yue grabbed national attention after a surveillance video of the accident was posted online, sparking criticism of a lack of compassion in Chinese society, with experts pointing to a lack of a Good Samaritan Law protecting helpers from being wrongly accused.