Ambulance With Dying Baby Inside Stopped For Insurance Claim

Article from SBS:

Leaving a boy dying in an ambulance, a man stopped the ambulance for an insurance claim.


While an ambulance was carrying a child in critical condition, it rear-ended another vehicle. The driver of the rear-ended car then stopped the ambulance, telling the ambulance driver to deal with the car accident it caused. What happened?

Let’s go to reporter Han Se-hyun for more on the story.


A private ambulance struggles to move forward while carrying a 4-year-old with brain damage.

It honks its horn and sounds the siren.

[Ambulance: Car ahead! Clear the way please!]

The loudspeaker proves pointless.

The EMT who is fed up [with the cars not moving out the way] orders the ambulance to reroute to the nearest hospital.

[Emergency medical technician: Get to the nearest hospital!]

When the ambulance was about to speed up, the car ahead stopped suddenly, causing the ambulance to rear-end the car.

The driver of the car took photos of the accident scene instead of making way for the ambulance. Feeling a sense of urgency, the ambulance driver fought with the car driver, and then moved the car out of the way himself.

This is where the accident happened.

After the accident, the driver wouldn’t move his car. He said he needed to deal with the accident. The ambulance had no choice but to waste about 10 min on the road.

Shin Jin-woo, the ambulance driver : “I told him we would let the insurance cover the accident and to call later. That I had an emergency situation and had to go, but he said we couldn’t go until we dealt with the accident. He said he couldn’t trust us and just let us go. [The child] was receiving CPR at this point, so there wasn’t any time to waste arguing.”

The baby narrowly escaped with his life after being treated in the emergency room of a nearby hospital.

The child’s mother: “There are no words for how I felt. My baby was dying right in front of me…and was in such serious condition. Even when we said “there is a child inside,” the man didn’t believe us and didn’t get out of our way. I tried to pull his hand to make him see [that it was true], but he shook me off.”

The police are planning to investigate the driver of the car and charge the driver for intentional obstruction of an ambulance. This investigation will not involve the car accident.

More than anything, it’s disheartening that we have a social climate where institutions have priority over someone’s life.

Comments from Naver:


This news makes me upset. Thanks to people like him, innocent children are being hurt. He is a nut job.


That asshole’s personal information should be released to the public.


He will regret what he did only when he is in the same situation with his kid dying in an ambulance. Jeong Mong-joon Jr. keeps adding points to his victory.


Our uncivilized national character has yet to change.


The mother of the dying kid pulled on the driver’s hand to ask him to move out of the way, and the driver shook her hand off. I’m real pissed.


An ambulance is allowed to deal with the accident later. How can he drive without using common sense? I can’t understand how he stopped an ambulance and said he would let it go only after dealing with the accident, even when hearing all the crying of the mother of a dying kid. Your family or you could have an emergency too. If the driver reads this, you should reflect on what you have done.


Show a picture of that dumbass driver in the Sonata 3.


He must be joking trying to extort money with that crappy car. What an ass. Would you be like that if your parents were dying? Is your head just filled with shit? A baby is dying and you’re taking pictures? Gotta follow the law. Show his face!


That is another way of acting bossy. There is nothing that is more valuable than a person’s life. Was he making a joke? Put him in a prison.


His personal information will be on the internet! That man can’t act his age.


Does an accident matter when there’s a dying boy? Would he act that way if the kid were his? South Korea is going to the dogs.


The world is going mad. If the boy were his child, would he be able to act like that?


His car was horribly old. He is just crazy. I wanna smash his head in.


Anyone would have overtaken other cars if their kid was in an emergency situation. Why can’t those people think of others? Those kind of people should be put on a blacklist to let nearby hospitals know about them. Then they’ll understand what they did wrong when they’re in the same situation, tsk tsk.


Hey crazy ass driver of the number 62 bus in Namdong-gu Incheon Grand Park, do you know the baby almost died? In Korea cars don’t make way for an ambulance even when the ambulance asks them to.


If the kid had died, would you take responsibility for it? I assure you that car’s driver is a murderer.

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  • miss dillydally

    Maybe what is needed is some active campaigning on following road rules, especially with regard to emergency vehicles. Clearly, this man had no clue or was stubborn. Glad there’s an investigation. He should be charged for obstruction.

    • Boris

      Should be fined instead of jailed. Hit him in his pocket with a large fine, 10 times of what he would get from insurance.

      He’ll learn fast.

  • kukamine

    Cars don’t make way for ambulances in korea? wth, that should be implemented into korean law because what if the person in the ambulance is in critical condition.

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      Then you pretend to not give a crap and stand in the way. At least that’s what this guy did

      Should be a law that all ambulances be equipped with a cowcatcher so they can plow through any driver that refuses to move.

  • bumfromkorea

    This is, yet again, signs of erosion of public’s trust in the government. The driver acted like this because he believed that EMS would just screw him over. He’s acting irrationally (and despicably) because he does not believe that the government is competent/fair/clean enough to protect him. After all, he wouldn’t be the first driver to be hit by an ambulance and get screwed over by the government as the police “couldn’t find enough evidence” to suggest that it was the ambulance’s fault (or even that an ambulance was involved in the first place) because the vehicles involved moved before they got there.

    Public’s mistrust of the government in South Korea has a long history, but it seems to have been exacerbated during the PGH’s presidency. It all started with the NIS…

    • bumfromkorea

      Specifically to ambulances, the public attitudes have significantly soured because a lot of the ambulance drivers have been abusing the sirens to go through traffic – even though they weren’t carrying around any patients at all. This was worsened by a recent claim (turned out to be bullshit) that the police will fine you for yielding to ambulances if it technically violates some of the traffic laws.

      In the end, it all comes down to the public’s mistrust of the government and its employees – caused by the general incompetence, corruption, and abuse of the governmental power.

      • P.

        I lived in Korea for 25 years, and all that time, I never saw Koreans get out of the way of emergency vehicles. Nobody cares when sirens ring, and nobody gets out of the way. It’s government’s fault for not enforcing the law strictly and punish people who don’t take emergency vehicles seriously, but it’s fault of Koreans for being selfish bastards who only think about themselves. It’s the culture, nothing to do who’s in power or who’s the president.

        • bumfromkorea

          I literally don’t believe you when you say you never saw Korean drivers get out of the way of ambulances/firetrucks for 25 years. It’s sure to be a ridiculous hyperbole constructed by stray observations, or there were other mitigating factors (ex: horrific traffic jam with zero rooms to move for the emergency vehicles) that you decided to omit so that you can write “Koreans for being selfish bastards who only think about themselves”

          • chucky3176

            Perhaps “never” is an exaggeration, but I’ve seen several times when I saw too many cars that actually speed up to outrace and try to pass the ambulances with sirens going. As if they want to beat the emergency vehicles in a dick size measuring contest. Nevermind the too many cars that just completely fails to slow and stop to the right side of the road, and let those vehicles pass. I’m sorry to say this but when Korean males get behind their wheels, they become complete jerks. Something transforms them when they get behind the wheels. And I think and agree that President Park Geun Hye had nothing to do with that. PS: it also pisses me off when bus drivers ignore their passengers and drive like maniacs, stopping suddenly and speeding up again like lunatics. This is particularly bad for the old people who may not have the proper balance to stand up and hang on. I think it has much to do with Korean machismo, the more wildly you drive, the better driver you are, and the better person you are – because you won, you were first in the race.. ppali ppali.

          • 2ne1

            I haved lived in Korea for over a year. In my time there no one ever gave much regard to a ems or any other emergency agency. Ambulances were jammed up in traffic and no one cared. Police are widely looked at as a joke. The uniform in Korea doesn’t count for much.

          • Sillian

            I’ve seen both cases in Korea. In this video, all the cars get out of the way. Same country, very different reactions at different times or places? What gives?


          • Bantam

            All it takes is one A-hole to ruin it for everybody. I drive in Korea everyday and i’ve got to say it is the worst thing about living here. There are millions of cars on the road, most of those drivers are fine. But there is a hardcore of about 30% who are just total idiots. Dangerous, selfish morons who shouldnt be let near a car. Like someone said above, usually male. Its like its a battle for them and they refuse to give an inch to anyone around them. Change lanes at will. Disregard traffic signals. That doesnt include taxi drivers and bus drivers who are mind blowingly dangerous drivers. There are bad drivers in every country, but for a country that is developed, has nice wide highways, generally well constructed roads, late model safe cars, it baffles me how selfish the driving can be here.

            This is illustrated each year when korea comes top or near top of the OECD motor vehicle deaths list and pedestrian death list.

          • Sillian
      • commander

        Isn’t it that you can tell whether people take advantage of sirens when you are at the scene?

        The driver who refused to give way must have been able to sense the ambulance car is real, and if he is dubious about it, he could pen down the number on the ambulance car’s plate and check them out.

        And no amount of distrust in the government can’t justify his obstruction of the way for the ambulance car.

    • Boris

      Same sort of thing happens in China and India. So it isn’t just a Korean thing.

      Saying that, I do agree with other commeters that it isn’t just down to the lack of trust. The mother in this case tried to get the guy to see her kid inside. He didn’t believe there was a kid, or in this case didn’t care. He wanted to get his due and to hell with the cost of someone’s life.

      On the point about emergency services not being given way. I have seen they have been, though often they aren’t. You will find that in many other countries, even with heavy traffic jams they will give way emergency services or try to get out the way as soon as they can. I’ve seen it in my time travelling around in Europe.

  • Yaminah Jamison

    I hope they enforce the law that drivers should make way for sirens. It’s not like the sirens are on for fun.

  • Lady-Rai

    smh…Korea Problems

  • Smith_90125

    I’m not the least bit surprised. I’ve seen that sort of “me, first” attitude amongst Korean drivers (*), a couple of hit and runs including one against a kid crossing at a crosswalk on a walk signal. Worse still, I was the only one who stopped to help her.

    (* Actually, any confucianist driver is capable of that level of selfishness, be it Korean, Chinese or Taiwanese.)

  • Jake

    People’s mind-boggingly selfish driving in Korea is a reflection of the “me-me-me” culture back when Korea was being lifted from the lowest depths of poverty, and you had to push and shove your neighbors out of the way to snatch bread rations or cans of spam. Korea is the only developed country where I have observed on a regular basis people who intentionally speed up or cut others off for no reason other than to cause that random stranger stress and anxiety. I see situations every day where people refuse to yield, or drive recklessly even though it provides them with no direct benefit. For example person A needs to merge, but person B speeds up, blocking them from merging for no other reason than to cause them misery and stress. The Korean commentators are right; what you see on the roads can be a reflection of society in general, and the erosion of society here shows no sign of letting up. The only reason I feel relatively safe driving here is that I am always stuck in traffic moving at 5kph or so. Driving late at night is a craps shoot, as the law is so often disregarded. I cringe when I approach intersections at night, because I’ve had so many close calls with people bowing through red lights without even slowing. Often times these are city buses or taxis, who long ago lost any confidence I might have had in using them. It’s amazing how the government appears to overlook the massive revenue stream that actually penalizing traffic violators would bring in.

    • That’s marvelous

      Totally agree, and buses are worse than taxis. Taxis you can fight back at least, block them when they try to use the entry lane to bypass 20 meters of traffic jam. But buses you can only sit still and get f’ed.

      The two problems in my view are:
      – selfish palli palli culture
      – no driving skills whatsoever

      Palli-palli you described too. Some stuff I see every day:
      – Drive 80 kph on an expressway, but once I start to pass them, they speed up just enough to close the gap to the next car in my lane. And then they go back to 80
      – Close a gap to win 10 meters in a traffic jam, but thereby preventing a bus from making a U-turn -> bam, 3 lanes blocked. Often its even other buses doing this
      – Close a gap when I just want to pass through their lane quickly

      The other problem is that in Korea you get a drivers license without effort. Exams test vehicle operation, but not road skills. Consequence of that is that Korean drivers basically can’t drive, from western point of view. Every basic road maneuver they do wrong.
      – Going 50 when merging into a 110 kph expressway
      – Waiting very long before exiting a highway and then doing it at the last moment
      – “Korean passing”: going to the next lane but without actually going faster resulting in two lanes being blocked
      – Parking or standing still in the worst places possible (in the middle of a corner or right after a traffic light)
      – Buses passing trucks passing trucks passing trucks -> wall of metal blocking all lanes

      And Koreans must be deadly afraid of tunnels. Even on an empty road they break in front of a tunnel, causing tunnel jams.

  • That’s marvelous

    I’m not surprised. I’ve seen often on Korean roads that they don’t make space for ambulances. On highway it would be easy to create an extra ‘lane’ in a traffic jam, but people just keep staring at their phones. Even buses in their holy lane don’t move aside. Also not surprised about that given their usual driving style.

    The majority of Korean people just don’t care about strangers

  • ytuque

    Do you think Koreans care about anyone who isn’t related to them?

  • guest

    If I was there I would have kicked him in the balls the moment he refused to move his car so I could do it myself instead of wasting time arguing with botox brain.

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