Driver's tyre claim rejected

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 November, 2007, 12:00am

Discarded tyres piled on a pavement obstructed a turning heavy truck that killed a 12-year-old schoolboy in January at Fairview Park, Yuen Long, a defence counsel argued in court yesterday.

But a government forensic expert who reconstructed the accident told the court that he found the tyres were placed well within the pavement.

Cheng Yuk-ki rejected the defence claim, saying the stacked tyres could not have affected the truck driver's manoeuvre and that any standard driver should know not to drive onto the pavement, where the boy stopped his bike at 8.05am on January 31.

Truck driver Chow Ping-cheung, 43, yesterday denied driving dangerously while making a left turn from an unnamed road to the eastbound lane of Fairview Park Boulevard and killing Kam Ho-wah, a Form One pupil who was cycling to school with his brother against the traffic flow.

Dr Cheng concluded from his series of tests that the truck probably stopped at a T-junction before making a left turn when its nearside front wheel touched the front wheel of the boy's bike, which had stopped on a curb at the end of the pavement outside a pub, and where the tyres had been laid. The truck continued to move until its rear wheels ran over the pavement.

The truck rolled over the bike, the deceased's left leg and then his head, causing his immediate death, the court heard.

Dr Cheng found in his study that Chow should have had a clear and unobstructed view of the boy from the driving seat with the three sets of rearview mirrors, which allowed views of blind spots if the boy stood within 1 to 4 metres from the truck.

In a test drive, Chow made a similar left turn within eight seconds. Dr Cheng commented that he should have had sufficient time to take necessary precautionary action before the impact.

Defence counsellor Peter Pannu said the government report was flawed because the reconstruction was badly managed.

Mr Pannu said Dr Cheng did not simulate an 'important' element at the scene after he omitted to place discarded tyres.

He said the stacked tyres formed an obstruction to the driver and affected his manoeuvre.

The trial continues before Magistrate Stephen Smout at Tuen Mun Court.