The driver of a minibus that flipped onto its side after it struck a road divider while travelling at 37km/h over the speed limit has admitted causing grievous bodily harm to the 11 passengers injured in the crash.
Pun Hang-yuen, 37, yesterday pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm by dangerous driving, and using a defective vehicle.
Pun had 15 previous convictions for traffic offences, including drink-driving, dangerous driving and careless driving. He also had convictions for robbery, theft and public disorder, the District Court heard.
Pun was driving along Kwai Chung Road in Tsuen Wan on the afternoon of July 27 last year when the minibus hit a road divider, sending the vehicle skidding along the road on its side.
Police found the vehicle had been travelling at 87km/h on a road with a speed limit of 50km/h, prosecutor Suen Kam-hee said.
The speed indicator was not in working order.
One passenger recalled seeing the indicator showing a speed of around 83km/h earlier in the journey, but did not hear any warning signals being emitted, as would have been expected at high speeds.
Suen told the court: 'After the accident, the minibus was seriously damaged.
'The defendant suffered minor injuries but almost all the minibus passengers were injured, three of them seriously.'
Among the most seriously injured was Kwok Siu-mui, 53, who was found to have fractured three ribs and her left collar bone. She was also suffering from the lung disease emphysema. She spent 40 days in hospital.
Kwok died on September 24, Suen said. The cause of death was given as brain arteriovenous malformation - a condition where blood is diverted from the arteries to the veins, bypassing normal brain tissue.
An eight-year-old boy spent eight weeks in hospital, while a 37-year-old man was treated in hospital for three weeks.
Pun told police he had been tired at the time of the incident, having completed three complete circuits of his minibus route, Suen said. Pun also said he had found he had to hold the steering wheel firmly to prevent the vehicle from drifting towards the left.
However, an inspection found the vehicle to be in working order with the exception of the speed indicator, Suen said.
District Court Judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che adjourned the case to June 19 and ordered a background report on Pun.
The age of the youngest person injured in the minibus accident
- The oldest passenger injured was 66