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Chinese toddler dies a week after being hit by cars, ignored by passersby

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:08 AM EDT, Fri October 21, 2011
  • New: "We feel deep pain and shame as everybody does," a hospital says
  • Two hit-and-run drivers seriously injured the girl last week
  • Video showed more than a dozen people passing by the 2-year-old
  • Her story spurred intense debate about morals in Chinese society

(CNN) -- A 2-year-old Chinese girl -- who was ignored after being hit by two cars last week, later sparking a fierce debate about the state of China's morals -- has died, a nurse at a military hospital said.

Wang Yue died about 12:32 a.m. Friday, according to officials at the Guangzhou Military Hospital, in Guangzhou.

"Her little life has left this world," said Su Lei, director of intensive care unit at the hospital. "We feel deep pain and shame as everybody does."

Video captured by a nearby security camera showed a pair of drivers, one after the other, hitting Yue, in Foshan in Guangdong Province. More than a dozen people walked, cycled or drove past the toddler as she lay bleeding in a busy market.

The girl was eventually rescued by a 58-year-old scavenger, who pulled her aside and tried to get help.

Family of toddler hit in China is hopeful
China: Hit-and-run video sparks outcry
Good Samaritan laws in China

The toddler's mother, Qu Feifei, later said her daughter was in critical condition at a hospital, with her brain showing little activity despite earlier subtle movements in her lower body.

The video footage sparked a global outcry about the state of morality in China's fast-changing society. That included generating a flurry of activity on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, and spurring a "Stop Apathy" online campaign.

Two government offices in Guangdong province, where the hit-and-run occurred, offered the Good Samaritan, identified as Chen Xianmei ,a total of 20,000 yuan (US $3,135), according to state-run Xinhua news agency.

The young girl's mother has said she did not understand the behavior of the passersby, but wanted to focus on the positive.

"Granny Chen represents the best of human nature," she said of her daughter's rescuer. "It's the nicest and most natural side of us."

On Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, the story was the No. 1 topic this week, at one point generating more than 4.5 million posts along with a "stop apathy" online campaign.

As the outrage over morality continued, a steady procession of well-wishers pours in, offering gifts, money and support to the toddler's family.

CNN's Xiaoni Chen and Haolan Hong contributed to this report.