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Traffic and road safety in Hong Kong

Driver, 51, held after truck crashes into bus stop, killing young mother near Hong Kong’s Tai Lam Tunnel

Vehicle could not be stopped and tumbled down a hill before landing on its side on another road

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 January, 2018, 12:11am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 January, 2018, 10:16pm

A 51-year-old Hong Kong truck driver was arrested after his vehicle crashed into a bus stop and rolled down a slope, killing a young mother and injuring three others on Wednesday night.

The 27-year-old woman – mother to an 18-month-old boy – was hit and killed instantly, with her body left lying on a slope.

Three others – two men and a woman – were injured and sent to hospital.

The driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving causing death.

“We are investigating in three directions,” a police spokesman said. “The mental status of the driver, his health condition, the vehicle’s speed and whether there were any problems with vehicle parts.”

The spokesman urged witnesses to come forward and provide information.

The driver claimed he had lost control of the vehicle, a large goods truck weighing more than nine tonnes.

The dead woman, Wang Xiaoban, was a recent arrival to Hong Kong from mainland China.

The clerical worker was on her way home to Hung Shui Kiu in Yuen Long, where she lived with her father and Hong Kong-born son. Her husband was on the mainland at the time of the incident, which took place just before 11pm near Tai Lam Tunnel in the New Territories.

After passing through the tunnel toll booth, the driver of the Yuen Long-bound truck slammed into the bus interchange, where passengers were waiting, on Tsing Long Highway in Pat Heung.

Witnesses said many of those at the bus stop were looking down at their phones when the incident took place and heard a loud crash.

The truck could not be stopped and tumbled down a small hill onto Pat Heung Road, colliding with a car travelling to Yuen Long.

The driver was trapped inside the truck and had to be rescued by firefighters. He sustained injuries to his head, left hand and abdomen.

The area was closed for a few hours by firefighters, who feared the truck was carrying dangerous chemicals.

Two cranes were brought in to lift the truck and it was then towed away. The section of road reopened at around 5am on Thursday.

In 2016 Yuen Long had the second highest number of road traffic accidents in all of Hong Kong, with 1,443 out of the 16,099 accidents in the city taking place in the district. At least 14 of these accidents were fatal.

According to official figures, 84 fatal road traffic accidents took place in Hong Kong in the first 10 months of last year, compared to 129 in all of 2016.

Three of these 2017 accidents took place in Pat Heung on three consecutive days in May.