THE driver in the downtown van crash on February 2 which injured 17 people has died, police said yesterday.

A probe into the accident has been completed, and the Huangpu District government has taken over the case.

The driver, a 40-year-old man surnamed Chen, drove onto a pavement near People’s Park on Nanjing Road W. in the morning, ramming into and injuring 17 pedestrians who were waiting on the pavement at a red light.

Chen was illegally transporting a steel cylinder and six liquid gas storage tanks in his van for delivery for domestic use, according to the police.

He lost control of the vehicle and hit the crowd while a fire broke out in his van, likely caused by a cigarette butt he threw onto a back-row seat. Surveillance cameras had earlier caught him smoking while driving. Chen died at a hospital on February 13, police said.

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