16 hurt by runaway concrete mixer in Lam Tin

Driver loses control, slamming into six vehicles before rolling on its side

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 April, 2013, 4:26am

Sixteen people were injured yesterday when the driver of a concrete mixer lost control on a road in Lam Tin, with the truck hitting six other vehicles before it rolled on its side and came to a stop.

An 83-year-old passenger on a minibus that was hit was in critical condition. A taxi driver, 54, and his passenger, 33, were both seriously injured after the cab was badly crushed by the runaway truck outside the Kwun Tong police station around lunchtime. A five-month-old baby girl was among the injured.

The driver of the concrete mixer, 28, who was slightly hurt, was arrested for dangerous driving. Police said last night he was in shock and unable to give evidence. The concrete mixer was impounded in Ho Man Tin for inspection, after eastbound traffic was held up for hours on Lei Yue Mun Road.

A Wellcome supermarket truck driver, 39, said the out-of-control concrete mixer suddenly came hurtling down Tseung Kwan O Road behind him and struck his vehicle's wing mirror.

"I was stunned. It really was like watching a stunt scene in an action movie … I am lucky it didn't damage my truck [too badly]," he said.

I was stunned. It really was like watching a stunt scene in an action movie

The concrete mixer then slammed into the taxi, pushing it into railings, he said. The taxi driver was trapped in his cab but remained conscious.

"The passenger managed to open the door, then fell over and lay on the road. He was in a lot of pain," he said.

The concrete mixer continued barrelling down to Lei Yue Mun Road at high speed, where it hit a green minibus, he said. A Tai Hing Roast restaurant truck just behind it then slammed into the minibus, he said.

The driver of the concrete mixer then swerved left and hit the back of another truck, he said. That caused the truck to smash into the van in front of it. The concrete mixer then rolled on its side and came to a stop, lying sideways on the road, he said.

Henry Ho Ming-sun, a senior superintendent with the Kowloon East traffic unit, said the concrete being transported would be weighed to determine whether the truck had been overloaded. But he ruled out drink- or drug-driving.

"The brakes could have been faulty. If they weren't, it wouldn't have taken that long to bring the truck to a stop," he said.

Ho also said that speeding was not thought to have been a factor either, and there were no skid marks on the road.

The truck is thought to have the capacity for seven cubic metres of concrete - which could weigh up to 30 tonnes when full loaded, a police officer said.

Truck driver Lui Yim-tung, 40, whose head, left hand and leg were injured in the crash, said the concrete mixer suddenly rammed into the passenger side of his truck.

The seven men and nine females injured in the accident were taken to United Christian Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.