Cabbie fails to stop man jumping to his death

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 April, 2005, 12:00am

A taxi driver promised to sell his car and give the money to his suicidal passenger - a cancer patient - in a vain attempt to stop him jumping from Tsing Ma Bridge yesterday.

His efforts failed when the man flung himself off the bridge just before dawn as driver Ng Chi-lung was calling the passenger's wife.

Police said the driver picked up Yeung Ping-yuk, 53, in Bonham Road, Mid-Levels, at 4.30am. He was told to drive to a shop to buy snacks and beer before heading towards Chek Lap Kok airport.

Travelling along the airport-bound Tsing Ma Bridge, Yeung asked the driver to pull over because he wanted to look at the view.

When the driver said this was not possible, Yeung became agitated and opened the door as if to jump out of the moving vehicle.

'I immediately braked and grabbed his windbreaker,' Mr Ng said. 'I asked him what I could do to help him. I told him that I could lend him money or even sell the taxi to help him.'

Yeung then told him he had cancer. Mr Ng continued talking to him, saying there might be some way to cure him. But his passenger ignored him, pushing him away before jumping out of the cab and climbing a barrier.

Mr Ng gave chase and managed to grab Yeung, who then hurled down a note addressed to 'my beloved wife' along with her mobile phone number. A US$100 banknote was attached.

Yeung asked the driver to call his wife and tell her he loved her very much. 'As I was making the call, he jumped off the bridge,' Mr Ng said.

Yeung's body was later recovered by a Marine Police launch and taken to Yan Chai Hospital where he was certified dead.

Police said the man left his flat after his wife went to bed. He had told her earlier that he felt abdominal pain and was unhappy.