Chinese couple hit woman with car – then bury her alive

Police in China have arrested a young couple who buried an old woman alive believing she was dead after their car hit the 68-year-old in a case which has sparked outrage over declining public morality.

The couple had been at an all-night karaoke session when they hit the woman while driving in the early hours of the morning in the wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang last month, according to the official China Daily newspaper. "A witness said he heard someone crying and saw an elderly woman lying on the ground near (the car)," the newspaper quoted a policeman as saying. "A man and a woman got out and put the elderly woman in the car, saying they would send her to hospital."

But, worried about being arrested for drunk driving and causing the accident, and believing she was dead, they buried her near the side of the road. Later, when police found the woman's body, they discovered she had been alive when she was buried, and had suffocated to death.

The story has been widely discussed on China's popular Twitter-like service Weibo, where it sparked uproar for what some called the immorality of modern Chinese society.

China's economic boom and the growing disparity between the rich and poor have made changing social values a contentious topic, with some lamenting what they see as materialism and a get-rich-quick attitude replacing morals. Last year, video footage of a two-year-old child run over by a van and ignored by passersby sparked similar anger.