An exhausted Taiwanese delivery driver who smashed into three Ferraris has been inundated with donations after his plight and eye-watering repair bill sparked a deluge of public sympathy. Lin Chin-hsiang had a particularly tough day at work in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He had worked a restaurant shift until 3 am, briefly slept, and then began deliveries around 5 am because his mother had been feeling unwell.
To make matters worse, Lin drifted off at the wheel while delivering incense to nearby temples on a windy mountain road above Taipei. He not only managed to wreck his family’s car but also plowed into a trio of Ferraris whose owners had parked by the side of the road midway through a weekend morning drive in the hills.
No one was hurt in the collision but Lin faces a huge bill. He was facing a repair bill estimated by local media at NT$12 million ($390,000), as his family’s vehicle insurance policy only covers injuries, not damages. With a monthly salary of NT 35,000, it would take Lin 28 years to pay the full cost of the repairs.
“I must have fallen asleep, I’m not sure what happened,” the soft-spoken 20-year-old stated from the incense shop in the capital where he works alongside his mother. “I will work hard to pay for the damage,” he added.
Lin said he had to drop out of college this summer to help his mother run their incense shop. His father died some five years back. He also held down a second job at a nearby barbecue restaurant. His mother, who only gave her surname, said she was left “dumbstruck” when she discovered her son had totaled three supercars.
“I told him what has happened has happened and we’ll face it together,” she said.
Lin said the principle of the college he dropped out from came round to offer him free tuition but he felt unable to leave his mother’s business, especially given the bills he now needs to pay. “School may have to wait,” he sighed.
Meanwhile, ordinary members of the public have flocked to his aid. City authorities said a fund set up to receive donations had so far received NT$814,000 ($26,400). Many of those donating was inspired by the contrast between the comparatively gilded lives of the Ferrari owners and the overworked man who hurtled into them.
Neighbors have since come by with their own delivery vans to keep the business going while one man traveled three hours by bus to drop a donation into the family’s shop.