Authorities are investigating whether an incident in which a boy killed a pedestrian in a motorbike accident was possibly caused by a police officer who struck the boy in the head with a club while driving.
Nguyen Quoc Nguyen, 16, tried to out-drive Ia Sao Commune police in La Grai District after they asked him to stop on March 26.
Vietnamese citizens must be 18 years old to obtain a driver's license.
One of the officers who gave chase on a motorbike threw his baton at the boy, striking him in the head before he lost control of the vehicle, eye witnesses said.
Rocham H'lui, a mother of three, was walking along the street at the time and was killed on the spot when Nguyen's vehicle, apparently out of control, swerved into her. Nguyen was knocked unconscious and was transferred to Gia Lai General Hospital. Whether or not he was wearing a helmet at the time was not made clear by investigators.
He was driving his classmate Huynh Huu Tien, 15, who also suffered multiple injuries.
Whether Nguyen lost consciousness before or after speeding into the mother is not yet clear.
Nguyen Van Thanh, Nguyen's father, said he was sad about the way police had behaved.
"My son had violated the law but why did they chase him as if they intended to kill him? My family now has to foot his hospital bills as well as compensate the victim's family. Misfortunes are never one-sided," Thanh said.
"Though my son might recover physically, his spirit has been severely damaged."
Rocham Uk, chairman of Ia Sao Commune, said he had heard that the police officer had thrown the baton, but he was not sure why the action had been taken.
The commune police have to issue the requisite detailed report on the case.
Tran Trung, chairman of Ia Grai District People's Committee, said the district police are conducting an investigation.
As of Friday, police had released no information or comments on the case.