Tourist taken on wild, 40km ride in stolen taxi

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 June, 2012, 12:00am
 

The tourist who got into Ng Wing-kuen's taxi last October expected to be taken to the airport.

Instead she was taken on a wild, 40-kilometre ride across the New Territories as Ng tried to avoid police, causing 10 vehicles and two police motorcycles to crash before hitting railings, leaping out of the still-moving vehicle and running away.

To make matters worse, the District Court heard, Ng was disqualified from driving and the taxi was stolen.

Jailing Ng for two years and banning him from driving for four years, Deputy Judge Ernest Lin Kam-hung said the 55-year-old had shown disrespect for the lives of others.

'One could easily imagine how the tourist felt as she was forced to venture across half the New Territories while intending to go to the airport,' Lin said.

Ng pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, handling stolen goods, driving while disqualified and driving without third-party insurance.

The court heard that traffic police spotted him driving illegally on the hard shoulder of the North Lantau Highway, heading for the airport. When he was ordered to stop, he drove on and headed back to the city via a turnaround area.

As he neared Tai Lam Tunnel, Ng suddenly changed lanes to avoid pursuing police, causing 10 vehicles to crash.

The chase continued to Shing Mun Tunnel, heading to Sha Tin, where the taxi weaved seven times across double white lines and hit a roadworks area, causing two officers to fall off their motorcycles.

He drove into the Sun Tin Wai estate car park in Sha Tin and leapt out of the still-moving car, leaving the tourist alone in an uncontrolled vehicle. The taxi stopped after hitting some railings.

Ng had rented his car from a person who later told him it was stolen, but he kept plying for hire because the person refused to return a HK$5,000 deposit and he needed money.

'He continued handling the vehicle when he was disqualified from driving, and accepted hires from passengers knowing it was stolen. This is unforgivable,' Lin said. '[Ng's] behaviour not only brought shame to the taxi industry, but also negatively impacted on Hong Kong's international reputation.'

Last month a judge jailed Ngai Sing-keung - on bail for another traffic offence - for almost five years over a wild chase around Yuen Long. He said Ngai's driving should only be seen on a cinema screen.

Lai Ming-hung, chairman of the Taxi and Public Light Bus Concern Group, said the case would not affect the image of city taxis. 'Bad people exist in every industry, after all.'

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