A taxi driver who accidentally stepped on the accelerator and crashed into two nearby cabbies, killing both men, was jailed for two years and disqualified for three years, the District Court heard on Wednesday.
Lau Yin-ping, 58, claimed he fell in sleep inside his taxi when he was waiting for customers at the Disneyland Resort on February 7 this year.
A security guard woke him and asked him to drive off. Lau stepped on the wrong pedal when he had not fully awoken.
Lau’s taxi hurtled into the two drivers who were chatting on the pavement before the vehicle was stopped by a nearby flowerbed.
Lau pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing death.
Judge Anthony Kwok Kai-on said, “The consequence of this case is serious as more than one life is taken away.”
Kwok said he believed Lau did not intentionally cause the accident but that Lau failed to alert the security guard that he was not in a fit condition to drive at the time of the accident.
Prosecutor Chan Sze-yan told the court the two victims Law Wa-hing, 56, and Paul Lam Kam-wing, 61, sustained fatal injuries in the crash.
Law sustained multiple fractures to his spine, pelvis and ribs while he sustained internal injuries to his liver and kidneys. He died three days later.
Lam’s suffered serious injuries to his neck, back and legs and he died the same day.
Lau’s lawyer William Lam told the court Lau used to operate a successful watch business, with assets reaching some HK$30 million at the company’s peak. However, Lau suffered financial losses during the economic downturn in 1997 and became a taxi driver after losing his business. Lam said Lau felt great remorse for the accident and had decided not to drive again.
The judge also sent his condolences to the two victims’ families for losing their loved ones while passing the sentence.