A woman who lost a leg when her blind date crashed his car says he is trying to force her to marry him by withholding cash for her medical bills so that as her husband he would escape prosecution.
Ms Ma, 28, from the county of Guoyang in East China’s Anhui Province, woke up in hospital with her right leg already amputated and her left leg severed shattered following the crash in the early hours of 12th October last year.
It happened just hours after she went on an arranged date with suitor Mr Zhang, who reportedly took her keys and insisted on driving her home in his car despite being intoxicated.
He crashed into traffic barriers in the middle of the road and flipped his car onto its roof, while both of his female passenger’s legs broke in the process.
Ms Ma was sent home following her amputation, but she has been receiving further treatment at the Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College since 15th November due to repeated infections in her left leg, which now also faces amputation.
Mr Zhang paid 90,000 RMB (9,833 GBP) towards her initial surgery but says he is now refusing to foot the bill for further treatment unless she agrees to marry him and settle the matter privately so he can avoid jail time.
On 24th December, Mr Zhang admitted to local media: “Of course I want her to write a statement forgiving me, otherwise I’m definitely going to jail.
“My lawyer tells me that, with her statement, I can be remanded on bail pending trial.
“After that we can settle any civil disputes between us.
“My father says that as long as I’m willing to marry her, he’ll treat her as family.
“We will, of course, then pay her medical bills.
“But if she chooses to go the legal route, then we have no obligation to contribute anything more.”
Responding to allegations that he insisted on driving Ms Ma home, Mr Zhang said: “She says I forced her into my car. I can neither confirm nor deny that, because I was drunk and don’t remember anything.”
Ms Ma told local media: “He wants me to agree to a settlement and pen a statement forgiving him, otherwise he won’t pay any more of my medical bills.”
“He’s saying I have nothing left. My only option is to marry him, and let him take care of me.
“He’s forcing me to marry him. I don’t even like him – how could I marry him?”
County police say they are examining the extent of Ms Ma’s injuries, after which formal charges will be laid against Mr Zhang.
The authorities did not say whether Mr Zhang would be punished separately for allegedly attempting to blackmail his victim.
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