Van driver found responsible for crash that broke policeman's arms

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 February, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 February, 1998, 12:00am

A police motorcyclist who suffered multiple injuries when his pursuit of a car ended with a horrifying collision won his court battle for damages yesterday.

Wong Yiu-fai, a constable in his 20s, was thrown through the window of a van that drove across his path.

Deputy Judge A. R. Suffiad ruled in the Court of First Instance that the driver of the van, Lung Yiu-chung, was to blame for the crash.

Constable Wong will now be able to claim damages from Mr Lung and Mr Lung's employer, Ka Tat Godown Company Ltd.

The policeman said he had seen a white car making an illegal left turn into Kwai Chung Road while he was on duty.

He switched on the flashing lights on his motorbike and began to pursue the car at about 50 km/h.

Suddenly the van appeared, having turned from the opposite carriageway into the officer's path.

'The plaintiff braked, sounded the horn, skidded and collided into the near-side body of the van,' the judge said.

'The impact threw the plaintiff into the van through its nearside window.' Constable Wong suffered many injuries, including fractures to both arms. He has been on sick leave since the accident on August 23, 1995.

Sze Kin, representing the driver and his company, claimed the policeman had contributed to the crash.

She argued that Constable Wong had assumed other motorists would give him the right of way because he had turned on his flashing police lights.

But the judge ruled the policeman had kept a proper lookout and was entitled to expect traffic to give way because of the road markings. Mr Lung had been negligent in failing to keep a proper watch for approaching vehicles when he drove across the road, the judge said.

The amount of damages to be paid to Constable Wong will be assessed later.