Honduras ambassador gets apology for false hit-and-run collision claim

2015/06/02 16:58:00
Honduran Ambassador Rafael Fernando Sierra Quesada (center)

Honduran Ambassador Rafael Fernando Sierra Quesada (center)

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) A teenaged scooter rider involved in a May 17 collision offered a public apology Monday to Honduran Ambassador Rafael Fernando Sierra Quesada for falsely accusing him of being at fault in the accident.

The mother of the teenager, who was underaged and driving without a license, also issued a statement of apology to Sierra.

Sierra was pictured with the teenager and his mother after accepting their apology. He also said he will not claim compensation for damage caused to his vehicle.

The news of the accident surfaced after the 15-year-old's mother, who lives in Tamsui in New Taipei posted messages on Facebook May 18 saying that her son was hurt after he was hit by a car bearing a plate reserved for ambassadorial official vehicles in Tamsui.

The Facebook post also showed a photograph of Sierra's business card and messages saying that Sierra threw his business card at her son before driving away from the scene of the accident.

Sierra subsequently rejected claims at a press conference the following day that he had been involved in a hit-and-run collision with the unlicensed child.

Sierra, who took up his Taiwan post in January, said it was not a hit-and-run accident.

Sierra said he remained at the scene for about 40 minutes with the teenager until his father arrived.

"I did not want him to feel that I was going to run away," Sierra said.

Sierra said he did not call the police immediately after the accident because he was trying to help the rider who ran into his car, according to an earlier CNA report.

Footage from a dashcam on the car driven by the ambassador shows the scooter appearing suddenly from behind another vehicle and going into a left turn then running into the ambassador's car at an intersection where Sierra's car had the green light.

The ambassador said he gave his card to the teenager so that the family could contact him.

The underaged teenager was riding the scooter without a license and violated traffic rules when he made the left turn and hit the car, Sierra said, citing the findings of the initial investigation.

(By Elaine Hou and Evelyn Kao)
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