Police bike crash sparks joy-ride investigation

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 December, 2009, 12:00am

Three police motorcyclists are under investigation after one crashed on the Tsing Ma Bridge, at least 10 kilometres away from their patrol region in Kowloon West, while they were on overnight duty yesterday.

Police said they were suspected of having gone on a joy ride to Lantau, rather than being on patrol.

The officer crashed in the middle lane of the Kowloon-bound carriageway on their return trip from Lantau at about 5.30am. The vehicle skidded about 150 metres and the 32-year-old constable, surnamed Wong, slid about 50 metres, police said. Wong's helmet, briefcase and police files were scattered across the road. The motorcycle left no brake marks.

Wong was in serious condition in Princess Margaret Hospital last night with injuries to his head and all limbs.

'We are investigating whether he was running beyond the speed limit [of 80km/h],' a police officer said.

The investigation found that Wong and two of his colleagues from the Kowloon West traffic enforcement and control unit were riding together at the time of the crash.

They said Wong, who was transferred to the unit about six months ago, became lost while on patrol in Cheung Sha Wan and had ridden all the way to Lantau Island, and that his two colleagues had gone to Lantau to pick him up, a police officer said.

'A preliminary investigation indicated that our traffic control centre was not informed they had gone to Lantau,' he said. 'We will look into whether they were on a joy ride.'

Suspicions had been raised because Wong did not pull over in a lay-by area or make a U-turn at junctions or roundabouts in Tsing Yi or the Lantau toll plaza, riding all the way to near Siu Ho Wan on the North Lantau Highway. The officer questioned whether it was necessary for two officers to go all that way to pick him up.

The regional commander, Assistant Commissioner Tang How-kong, ordered a formal investigation.

A senior officer said: 'They will be disciplined or even dismissed if neglect of duty is involved.'

Yesterday's incident comes less than a month after two reports of alleged police misconduct. On November 7, two officers took photos of each other during a bicycle patrol at Tolo Harbour, Tai Po. On November 4, 27 senior marine officers were accused of misusing a police launch to go to a seafood feast on Po Toi Island.