Donations pour in for exhausted Taiwan driver in Ferrari crash

One of the three Ferraris damaged by Mr Lin Chin-hsiang, whose vehicle crashed into the cars on Sunday after he dozed off at the wheel. He had been on the way to deliver an order to a temple for his mother.
One of the three Ferraris damaged by Mr Lin Chin-hsiang, whose vehicle crashed into the cars on Sunday after he dozed off at the wheel. He had been on the way to deliver an order to a temple for his mother. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
A breathalyser test showed Mr Lin did not drink alcohol before driving. The 20-year-old also had a clean driving record.
A breathalyser test showed Mr Lin did not drink alcohol before driving. The 20-year-old also had a clean driving record.

An exhausted Taiwanese man has received an outpouring of sympathy from the public after he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed his vehicle into three Ferrari cars.

Mr Lin Chin-hsiang, a 20-year-old restaurant worker, woke up to NT$12 million (S$534,100) worth of damage before him.

But since news about Sunday’s accident broke, donations have poured in from all over Taiwan to help him pay for the cost of the repairs, media reports said.

Many people also pleaded with the car owners to forgive Mr Lin and waive the compensation, according to the BBC.

Mr Lin works the night shift at a local barbecue eatery, while his mother runs the family business selling incense and joss paper.

His father died of an illness five years ago and he dropped out of university recently to help his mother.

At about 3am on Sunday, Mr Lin returned home to find his mother ill, so he decided to deliver an order to a nearby temple for her.

But he dozed off at the wheel of his Mitsubishi sport utility vehicle and it crashed into the three luxury sports cars at about 5.40am in New Taipei City’s Shiding district.

The car owners had parked their vehicles at the side of the road in preparation for an early morning drive to Yilan, reported news website Taiwan News.

No one was injured in the accident.

Local police said Mr Lin had a clean driving record. A breathalyser test also showed that he did not drink alcohol before driving.

“I must have fallen asleep. I’m not sure what happened,” the soft-spoken Mr Lin told Agence France-Presse yesterday. “I will work hard to pay for the damage,” he added.

US news outlet Fox8 reported on Wednesday that an official account for donations has been set up. About NT$740,000 from more than 100 donors has been collected so far.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2018, with the headline 'Donations pour in for exhausted Taiwan driver in Ferrari crash'. Print Edition | Subscribe