Taxi trio critical after road ramming

Local | Angela Cheung Nov 17, 2017
Two passengers and a taxi driver remain in critical condition after the taxi they were in crashed into a roadworks lorry on Tsing Kwai Highway in Tsing Yi on Wednesday night.

The taxi, which was carrying two female passengers, was traveling along the highway at about midnight and rammed into the back of the lorry about 200 meters from the entrance to the Cheung Tsing Tunnel.

The taxi was badly damaged as the windshield shattered, and the passengers' belongings were scattered on the street. There was blood on the wheels and steering wheel. Firefighters had to cut the steering wheel to rescue the unconscious 52-year-old taxi driver, who was trapped in his seat.

It is understood that the two passengers, aged 49 and 44, are purchasers for an apparel company and had been working overtime.

Ambulances took the trio to Princess Margaret Hospital. The 49-year-old passenger was unconscious with head injuries and the other woman had injuries to her body. The driver had chest and leg injuries and was apparently suffering from internal bleeding.

Two of the three lanes on the highway were closed, causing long tailbacks.

The government has brought in new requirements on roadworks vehicles following fatal accidents in recent years. Since November last year, the Highways Department has introduced new measures to protect late-night road workers.

They stipulate that on any road with a speed limit of 70km/h or above, a roadworks vehicle should be equipped with a rear bumper. There should also be a fence with a buffering distance and suitable collision protection at the front of a blocked section of road. All roadworks vehicles should have blinking arrowhead lights, flashing warning lights and road closure signs.

A representative of TIML MOM, which is responsible for the management of the Lantau Link toll plaza, said that it will adopt a policy of "dual-directional traffic" in one tunnel from Monday to Thursday.

The deputy director of the Motor Transport Workers General Union, Low Shih-cheng, said the crash happened in the middle of an average 10-hour shift. "Taxi drivers are self-employed and they definitely have unstable working hours," he said.

Low said some drivers consider doing double shifts to support their families.

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