Lantau cattle killings

Eight ferral cattle were killed in what was believed to be a hit-and-run traffic accident on Lantau on June 5, 2013. A female driver was arrested soon afterwards. The deaths of the cattle sparked a bitter debate in Hong Kong over the protection of wild cows and road safety in rural areas where they roam. 

NewsHong Kong
COURTS

Injured cows left lying at Lantau roadside for six hours after being hit by car, court told

Pilot tells how he found injured animals on his way home from work

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 April, 2014, 2:01pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 6:07pm
 

A pilot who found a group of feral cows dead on a Lantau road told a court yesterday that it would have taken a truck or a tank to have caused them such injuries.

The car suspected to have hit the eight animals could not have emerged with just small dents unless it had machine guns in front, Steven Quilkey said.

Quilkey called the police when he came across the cows on South Lantau Road while driving from the airport to his home in Tong Fuk village at about 3.15am on June 5 last year.

He was giving evidence yesterday at the trial of Sarah Wilson, 49, a British engineer, who has pleaded not guilty to failing to submit a police form reporting an accident within 21 days.

Quilkey, who has 35 years of flying experience, said he had spent a lot of time flying in the Australian outback and had seen many road kills. The accident in June looked like an "extremely severe" one to him.

"If I had hit those cows with that car, I would have been dead," he said after being shown a picture of Wilson's vehicle, a description of which was not given in court.

Hitting such large animals would be like hitting a wall - the car would not be drivable any more, he said.

The court heard that police found Wilson's car in the Tong Fuk car park and suspected that it was related to the accident as it was damaged and had cow hair on its bumper.

Prosecutor Nicholas Wong Chun-yin removed Quilkey from the prosecution witness list last week, but defence lawyer William Allan protested and the court agreed that the pilot should be the first witness.

A police officer said that at about 1.50pm on June 5, police were inspecting Wilson's car in the car park when she approached them.

She said she owned the car but had not used it since parking it there at about 9pm the night before and had not lent it to anyone. She was then arrested for dangerous driving and failing to stop and report an accident.

Wilson was taken to the Lantau North Police Station and asked to fill in a "notice requiring identification of driver".

She asked if she could write "no details of the driver" and they said she could but could be prosecuted if there was enough evidence. She did not provide further information in the following 21 days as required.

The Road Traffic Ordinance states that where the driver of a vehicle is suspected of breaking the law, both the registered owner and the person suspected of being the driver shall on demand give the police their name, address, licence number and relationship to the offending driver.

The case will continue on Friday before Magistrate Raymond Wong Kwok-fai.

 

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