Two jail guards crushed to death by lorry

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 February, 2003, 12:00am

Two prison guards were crushed to death when a runaway lorry loaded with 14 tonnes of plastic bags toppled on top of them outside Lai Chi Kok Remand Centre as they left work yesterday.

Ho Wai-kin, 31, and Sammy Wong Man-shing, 37, had lost consciousness when they were freed by firefighters. They were declared dead at Caritas Medical Centre. A colleague walking with them escaped injury.

The lorry driver, 53, told police his brakes had failed as he drove on Butterfly Valley Road. To avoid running through a red light, the driver veered into a lane leading to the prison's reception centre, according to Chief Inspector Wan Yiu-fat, of Kowloon West traffic unit.

'Initial investigation showed that the driver rammed his lorry into the railings in an attempt to stop it, but he lost control of the vehicle, which then toppled on to the two officers,' he said.

The driver was later arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving causing death. He was released on $5,000 bail and a $10,000 surety and was ordered to report back to police on March 18.

Secretary for Civil Service Joseph Wong Wing-ping offered his deepest condolences to the families of the two victims.

Commissioner of Correctional Services Pang Sung-yuen said: 'They were loyal and dedicated officers with a strong sense of responsibility.'