Driver in fatal bus flip jailed

Top News | Riley Chan Mar 13, 2018
A 62-year-old Citybus driver was jailed for 45 months yesterday and had his license revoked for five years for causing an accident that killed a passenger and injured 20 others.

Man Chun-pun was also ordered to complete a driving improvement course.

The heavy sentence is necessary considering the number of people injured and the driver's lack of focus, District Judge Timothy Casewell said.

The court heard that on January 14 last year, Man was driving a Citybus on route 681 - heading to Hong Kong Station from Ma On Shan - when he rammed into the curb on the four-lane road in Lam Tin.

The bus flipped on its left side and mounted a pavement, killing a 42-year-old woman passenger and injuring 20 others.

One of the victims was hospitalized for three months while a 31-year-old woman was forced to give birth by Caesarean operation six days after the incident.

A data-recording device showed the bus was going over the speed limit by 10 kilometers an hour. The driver told police he was feeling dizzy and had a sudden blackout when the bus crashed.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, and admitted that the accident was caused by his lack of focus.

In mitigation, his lawyer said Man was deeply remorseful after the incident. He suffers from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and other heart diseases, the lawyer added.

Man, who joined Citybus in 1994, made HK$11,000 a month. He was fired after the incident and had to rely on government assistance of about HK$3,000 a month, the court heard.

Judge Casewell said the heavy sentence was needed as Man had put passengers' lives at risk by speeding and not focusing. He did not attempt to slow down and was obviously driving carelessly, he said.

Despite the diseases, Man's health was stable and thus a tough sentence was maintained.

The sentence might be referred to in the KMB case involving a fatal crash that killed 19 and injured 65.

On February 10, part-time driver Chan Ho-ming, 30, was driving a KMB bus on route 872 from Sha Tin racecourse to Tai Po when the bus flipped on its side.

He was charged with dangerous driving causing death.

Chan was refused bail twice due to the seriousness of the case. He is remanded until the next hearing on April 10. No plea has been taken.

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December 2018