School's memorial day marred by bus crash

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 October, 2009, 12:00am

A bus carrying 30 Canadian International School students was involved in a head-on collision with a dump truck in Pokfulam Road yesterday.

None of the passengers on the bus, including a 55-year-old woman looking after the students - aged four to 17 - were badly injured.

The truck driver was unhurt but the bus driver was trapped in the vehicle and had to be rescued by firefighters. He was taken to nearby Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam, where he was in stable condition. The truck driver was later arrested for dangerous driving and released on HK$ 2,500 bail. He was told to report back to police on November 2.

Nine students were sent to the same hospital, while 11 others were sent to Wan Chai's Ruttonjee Hospital. All were later discharged.

The accident occurred shortly before 11.30am while the bus was heading towards Aberdeen. The school had closed to give students the opportunity to attend a memorial service for lower school principal Alan Dick, who died on September 27 after contracting swine flu. The students were heading home at the time of the collision.

Senior Inspector Hung Lai-lung, from the police force's Hong Kong Island traffic accident investigation team, said the dump truck had been travelling in the opposite direction to the bus and had erroneously entered the bus' lane. 'We are investigating how the truck entered into the wrong lane,' he said. 'One possibility is that the driver read the road sign wrongly.' He said the truck had almost come to a stop before the crash and there had been a brake mark about 20 metres long behind it, but the bus driver had been unable to brake in time to avoid the collision.

About 3,000 Canadian International School students, parents, staff and friends attended the memorial service for the lower school principal at AsiaWorld-Expo at Chek Lap Kok yesterday afternoon.