Bus rammed truck in fatal crash: witness

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 September, 2007, 12:00am

A truck driver described yesterday how he saw a double-decker bus driving too close behind a container truck before crashing into the back of it.

The collision in Yuen Long in February left a 42-year-old man dead and 12 people injured.

Truck driver Yeung Hau-ming, who witnessed the accident from the opposite carriageway of the Tsing Long highway, told Tuen Mun Court that he noticed the two vehicles because they were alone on that part of the highway and 'they were too close to each other'.

Kowloon Motor Bus driver Lee Wai-man, 52, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing death.

Lee was driving the double-decker to Kowloon on February 17 when it ploughed into the right rear end of the container truck. The bus had its roof and left side partially ripped off. The container truck had minor damage.

Mr Yeung said that at the moment of impact, he noticed that the right indicator light of the bus was on.

He said the bus did not stop immediately after the collision, but pulled out from the first lane into the third lane as if to overtake.

When he drove beyond the two vehicles, he saw two people lying on the ground.

He said the container truck had travelled in the same lane and at the same speed - about 50km/h to 60km/h - before and after the accident occurred.

The driver of the container truck, Fung Siu-ping, said that before the collision, he had been driving in one lane and maintained a constant speed of about 30km/h to 40km/h, even though the speed limit on the highway was 100km/h, because his truck was heavily loaded and he was on a gently sloping stretch of road.

He said that before the collision he noticed the double-decker in his rear-view mirror 'following me at a great distance in the first lane'.

After he felt a heavy impact, he then saw the bus overtake him and finally come to stop in front of his truck in the first lane.

He pulled over and walked to the bus, and found a 2-metre-wide gaping hole in its roof. He discovered that two people had been thrown out of the bus.

The trial continues on Monday before magistrate Stephen Smout.