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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Driver of fatal Tai Wai bus crash gets 42 months in jail, license suspended for five years

Driver of fatal Tai Wai bus crash gets 42 months in jail, license suspended for five years

A 59-year-old driver responsible for the fatal Tai Wai bus crash that killed a passenger and injured 10 others in November last year was on Friday jailed for 42 months, as the judge slammed him for failing passengers' wish of returning home safe and sound. 
Wong Wing-keung, who had worked as a bus driver for 18 years, also saw his driving license suspended for five years and was ordered to take the driving improvement course. 

Wong had earlier pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and two counts of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm for the incident crushed a male passenger surnamed Ng to death and seriously injured two female passengers surnamed Lam and Yiu on November 18 last year. 

The KMB 88K double decker crashed into the stone curb and fell to the left-hand side after it didn't make a right turn according to the planned route, when heading to Hin Keng, Tai Wai along Tai Po Road and Tsing Sha Highway around 11pm that night. 

When passing down the sentence, District Court deputy judge Merinda Chow Yin-chu said Wong, as a bus driver, failed passengers' wish of returning home safe and sound by putting their lives in danger. The court must also consider the casualties made in the incident and the impact on passengers' families. 

Ng's family must have been shocked when hearing the bad news, which they could have never expected, Chow noted, as she said the trauma brought upon deceased's family was one factor that called for a heavier penalty. 

In mitigation, the defense said Wong was a driver who exercised caution and the tragedy happened because Wong made a wrong decision in split seconds. 

Yet, Chow referred to security camera footage which showed Wong closed his eyes and tilted his head, and concluded that Wong dozed off at the time. 

Chow pointed to Wong's good background and that he had no criminal record, but stressed that the court must hand down a punishment with a deterrent effect, as she put Wong behind bars for 42 months. 

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