Driver released on bail after coach kills two

Local | Sum Lok-kei Jun 16, 2017
A tourist coach driver suspected of dangerous driving causing the death of an elderly woman and her Filipino male caregiver in To Kwa Wan was released on police bail last night.

Police allege the 55-year-old driver jumped a red light on Ma Tau Kok Road shortly before the 9.50am fatal accident yesterday.

Both victims were crossing the road when they were knocked down and trapped under the coach.

The coach had just picked up 31 mainland tourists and was heading toward Lai Chi Kok when the tragedy occurred.

The vehicle dashed forward, hitting a traffic light on its left and a KMB bus on its right. It continued to move forward for more than 10 meters, hitting the two victims.

The 85-year-old Chinese woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and the 58-year-old caregiver died later at Kwong Wah Hospital.

Coach passengers were unharmed, but a passenger on the KMB bus was injured and sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.

Police said the coach driver passed a breathalyzer test. There is no proof of him being in the wrong state of mind when the accident happened, and the coach will be inspected for technical faults, police said.

"As far as we know, the site is not a traffic accident blackspot," said Ho Chun-hin, officer-in-charge of the Special Investigation Team of the police's Traffic Kowloon West division.

At the time of the accident, the traffic light was green for pedestrians, and Ho believed the coach driver might have jumped the red light. There were skid marks on the road, and police will investigate if the driver had tried stopping the tour bus, he said.

The arrested driver has to report back to police in late July.

According to residents in To Kwa Wan, the caregiver had worked for more than 10 years assisting the elderly woman in her daily activities. She was said to have difficulties walking, and had lived in the nearby Ma Tau Wai Estate.

Some described the man as her "cane" and said the pair might have been going for breakfast at the time.

The KMB driver said he was pulling into a bus station outside Jubilant Place when the accident happened, but did not see the victims being hit.

A Kowloon City district councillor said there had been more tour buses coming into the districts. Drivers would often park the tour buses on roadsides, he said, calling for the police and the Transport Department to address the issue.

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June 2017