Driver who killed motorcyclist as he overtook slow bus on Lantau is jailed

Cheung Chi-lai, 25, drove into the oncoming lane to overtake bus in order to save time

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 4:48am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 9:18am

A driver who crashed into and fatally injured a motorcyclist while overtaking a slow-moving bus to save time has been jailed for 11 months after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.

The District Court heard that Cheung Chi-lai, 25, an assistant engineer for an aircraft company, overtook the slow-moving bus on a hill on South Lantau Road on June 1 last year.

The move took him into the path of the motorcycle ridden by Gavin Spier, a vice-president of electronics and engineering company Siemens.

Spier, 45, was trapped beneath Cheung's car, unconscious and with multiple injuries and died before reaching hospital.

Deputy Judge Edwin Choy Wai-bond said Cheung had crossed double white lines that prohibit overtaking.

"Obviously Cheung was driving dangerously and the consequence is to have taken the life of Mr Spier," Choy said.

Paulinus Lo, for Cheung, said his client was a diligent student who had obtained double first-class honours degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration.

He worked as an assistant maintenance controller for an airline company and would have been able to qualify as an engineer had he not been involved in the case.

Lo said Cheung was a dutiful son with a promising career. He was very remorseful and did not want to drive again.

The judge accepted it was an isolated incident but claimed good character and deep remorse counted for very little in a driving offence.

"I cannot neglect the fact that an innocent life has been taken away," Choy said.

He jailed Cheung for 11 months and disqualified him from driving for five years.

Prosecutor Peggy Leung said that at the time of the accident, Cheung was trying to overtake a single-decker bus with 15 passengers on board. Spier was driving his motorcycle downhill at low speed.

Cheung told police that the bus had been going very slowly and he drove into the oncoming lane to overtake it in order to save time.