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Sympathy for overworked Taiwan man who ploughed into Ferraris

A young Taiwanese man who dozed off in his car and crashed into three Ferraris got the shock of his life when he was told it would cost 12 million Taiwan dollars ($390,000; £310,000) to pay for the repairs.

But a public outpouring of support and donations to help him pay what at first seemed an insurmountable sum has stunned the 20 year old.

Lin Chin-hsiang's predicament has gripped Taiwan and the response from the public reflects growing dissatisfaction with the island's widening wealth gap, which has left many low-income families like Mr Lin's struggling to make ends meet.

The young man from a single parent family dropped out of college earlier this year to help his mother at the family's shop that sells incense and gold paper money (burned during worship) in New Taipei City. His father died from illness a few years ago.

He works nightshifts at a barbecue restaurant and, after finishing at 03:00 on Sunday, he returned home to find his mum not feeling well, and so decided to help her deliver an order to a nearby temple in time for a ceremony.

It was around 05:40 in the morning when, exhausted from working all night, he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into the Ferraris.

They were among four luxury cars that belonged to a group of friends who were meeting up before a scenic drive. The owners were standing near the vehicles and no-one was injured.

"I thought: 'Oh no, I've gotten myself into a big mess.' I was really worried about bringing trouble to my mother and having to pay so much money. I wanted to help her, but made things worse" Mr Lin told the BBC on Wednesday.

Police said he had not been drinking alcohol and had a clean driving record.

Local media contacted luxury car dealerships and repair shops to calculate that the repair bill would be 12 million Taiwan dollars.

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