Police continue hunt for driver of white van
NINE months after the death of a DVD seller police are still trying to establish what happened in the final moments of his life. Jin Ping Xue died of multiple injuries in Lister Hospital on November 23 last year after being hit by what is now believed to
NINE months after the death of a DVD seller police are still trying to establish what happened in the final moments of his life.
Jin Ping Xue died of multiple injuries in Lister Hospital on November 23 last year after being hit by what is now believed to be a white Ford Iveco van in Blackhorse Road, Letchworth GC.
Mr Xue, 41, who arrived in the UK from China in March 2004, lived in London and was known to sell DVDs in the area where he died.
He had previously been cautioned by police for selling DVDs.
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At an inquest this week, coroner Edward Thomas recorded an open verdict saying he could not be satisfied what happened before Mr Xue was hit by the vehicle.
Immediately before the incident, witnesses reported seeing someone with an outstretched arm running alongside a white van in Blackhorse Road.
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Christopher Johnson, who was being driven along the road by his friend Mark Goldsmith at the time, told the inquest it "looked like somebody was trying to jump in" the van.
Another witness, Victoria Whitfield, was driving along Green Lane when she saw the van run over Mr Xue.
She said: "I saw a white van, a man fall and the van go over the man. I just saw him fall and the van go over his chest.
"The driver didn't slow down. I was quite shocked he didn't stop."
Police believe the van was linked to another collision in Hitchin a few minutes later.
Fragments of the type of glass used in windows were found at both scenes.
These fragments were analysed and Pc Ian Marsh told the inquest they were "compatible".
In the case of the Letchworth GC incident, it is thought that the rear doors of the van opened and the glass came out as the vehicle accelerated.
Despite appeals and an ongoing investigation, police have been unable to track down the driver of the van.
At the inquest, Mr Thomas said that he believed Mr Xue had been having a discussion with the occupants of the vehicle.
He added: "I've also no doubt in my mind that once Mr Xue fell to the ground and contact was made by the vehicle with Mr Xue that the driver would have been aware of it.
"What I'm not clear about is at what stage the vehicle started to move.
"It may well have been there was a transaction taking place and there was a disagreement.
"There is no doubt in my mind that whatever was happening hadn't finished."
Mr Thomas said the driver could have driven off knowing Mr Xue was there, but added: "If he drove off and then Mr Xue fell that would be slightly different.
"The fact that he didn't stop makes one wonder whether something was going on which was quite inappropriate.
"To me it's not right to record an accidental death."
Mr Thomas also issued a plea for more witnesses to come forward with information about the van.
He said: "They owe it to Mr Xue's family in China to be able to get a true account of what happened."
The unmarked van is believed to be involved in the glazing or window industry in some way.
Anyone with information can contact the Eastern area road policing unit on 01462 425055 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.