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Traffic and road safety in Hong Kong

Uber driver may have passed out at wheel before fatal crash, police say

Taxi driver and female passenger in critical condition after vehicles travelling in opposite directions collided on Argyle Street near Kowloon Hospital

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 April, 2018, 10:08am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 April, 2018, 10:51pm

A 50-year-old Uber driver who died in a head-on car crash in Kowloon City may have passed out at the wheel, police said.

Hui Ki-wai was killed when his black BMW 520i collided with a taxi driving in the opposite direction along Argyle Street on Thursday night.

The 60-year-old taxi driver and his 32-year-old female passenger, who were knocked unconscious in the crash, were rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Kowloon, in critical condition.

Hui’s passenger, a 39-year-old woman, was taken to the same hospital in a stable condition.

An initial investigation revealed that Hui, who lived in Tin Shui Wai, did not suffer any serious external injuries, and a police source said it was possible the driver had passed out at the wheel before the car collided with the taxi. 

Hui was travelling towards Mong Kok when the crash occurred as he approached Waterloo Road near Kowloon Hospital around 9.05pm. He was trapped inside his vehicle and had to be rescued by firefighters.

He was rushed unconscious to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei and certified dead at 9.57pm.

Another car and a motorcycle travelling behind the taxi also collided with each other as the drama in front unfolded. 

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Uber Hong Kong said it was “very saddened” and expressed “its deep condolences to the driver’s family, who it had contacted and offered its assistance”.

The ride-hailing company said it provided third-party insurance, which covered rides in Hong Kong based on the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) Ordinance.

Uber started offering third-party insurance to its 30,000 registered drivers in the city last year. The government however has yet to grant it any car-rental permits, and its services remain illegal. 

The 39-year-old motorbike rider, surnamed Lau, was also injured and was transported to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in stable condition.

The Kowloon West Special Investigation Team of Traffic is looking into the case. Anyone who witnessed the accident or has any information is urged to contact the investigating officers at 3661 9000 or 3661 9058. 

Additional reporting by Cannix Yau