Policeman's fatal bridge fall ruled accidental
The death of a policeman who fell off the rain-soaked roof of a footbridge during a farmer's protest was an accident, an inquest jury ruled yesterday, exactly a year after the incident.
Lau Chi-kin fell three metres onto a podium at Exchange Square, Central, where Lau Yuk-tong, 62, was demonstrating on top of the covered walkway over Connaught Road Central to demand compensation for his poultry business that went bust.
The five-member jury concluded that the officer died from a skull fracture and brain injury, after hearing testimony from pathologist Dr Philip Beh Swan-lip, who performed an autopsy.
Beh said the back of Lau Chi-kin's body was heavily bruised, indicating he probably fell backwards. Lau, a 48-year-old married father of one, also suffered fractured ribs.
'Ten feet was quite high from the ground. If there was no preparation or anything to absorb shock, it's more than enough to lead to this injury,' he told the Coroner's Court at Sai Wan Ho.
The court heard that Lau, a station sergeant, was acting on his own initiative when he climbed onto the roof.
He fell at about 10.30am and was rushed to Queen Mary Hospital, while Lau Yuk-tong's protest continued for another hour and a half until he was grabbed by a fireman.
Dr Samuel Lam Siu-kei, who performed brain surgery on Lau Chi-kin, told the court he opened his skull to release the pressure in the brain, and found the brain had swollen. Lau was certified dead in the afternoon.