No jail for Hong Kong driver who crashed Lexus through car park
Court convinced that the depressed mother, now seeking treatment, is unlikely to reoffend
A depressed mother who drove her Lexus through a car park wall and plunged two storeys down onto a Tuen Mun pavement cried in court as she was spared immediate jail on Tuesday after convincing a court that she would not reoffend.
Instead, Luo Guangxian, 30, was given a one-month jail term, suspended for 12 months by the Tuen Mun Court, on her guilty plea towards one count of dangerous driving. Her licence was suspended for six months, and she is to complete a driving improvement course at her own expense.
Magistrate Raymund Chow Chi-wei said though the charge was serious, the incident “does not warrant an immediate imprisonment”.
“Thank you, your lordship,” the mother of two replied, before sniffing and wiping away a tear.
A probation officer had explained he did not recommend a probation order as he believed the incident was an isolated event that would not happen again.
Chow was also told that community service was not recommended in view of Luo’s health and emotional condition.
Dangerous driving is punishable by a HK$10,000 fine and 12 months’ imprisonment.
The court previously heard that Luo was hospitalised for four days after driving her Lexus through a concrete wall on the second floor of Wu King Estate’s multi-storey car park on January 5. The wall measured 1.2m tall and was fenced at the top with short metal railings.
The car first landed on a tree 3.2m away from the building before it plunged further onto metal railings lining Tip King Road’s pavement and turned upside down, trapping Luo in her seat.
She was rescued by firemen after passers-by called police and helped in cutting her seat belt.
No one else was injured in the incident.
Her husband initially told police that he received a suicidal message, having missed two phone calls from her following an argument earlier in the day.
But he later denied making those comments as Luo did not cooperate with investigators.
Instead she told police under caution that she was not feeling well and did not remember what happened.
Her sentencing report revealed last month that she had been receiving intermittent treatment for her heart condition, back pain and post-partum depression. But some treatments were discontinued because she thought she had recovered when the doctor prescribed fewer medications.
An updated report from the probation officer, however, suggested that she was now regularly receiving counselling and psychiatric treatment, plus taking her medications as requested.
“Please remember to maintain good conduct in the next 12 months,” the magistrate said before closing the case.