One person was killed and seven others injured in two separate traffic accidents yesterday.
A chauffeur died when he was hit by a car while checking a punctured tyre on the Rolls-Royce he was driving on Lantau Island.
In Cheung Sha Wan, a seven-seater van crashed into a bus stop and hit two other vehicles, injuring seven people, then slammed into the office of a property agency. Brake failure was believed to have caused the crash.
The 27-year-old chauffeur had stopped the Rolls on the North Lantau Highway near Siu Ho Wan at about 11.30am after a rear tyre burst while he was taking two passengers to the airport.
As he went to the back of the vehicle, he was hit by the other car, which then rammed into the back of the limousine.
The chauffeur was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12.21pm. His passengers had also got out of the car before the crash and were unhurt.
Police arrested the other driver, a 26-year-old man, on suspicion of dangerous driving causing death. He was being held for questioning. No charges had been laid. Anyone with information on the accident can contact police on 3661 1300.
The other crash happened at about 9.30am when the van was travelling along the Mong Kok-bound lane of Castle Peak Road. While approaching the junction with Hing Wah Street, the driver lost control, rammed into the back of a taxi, mounted a pavement and crashed into the bus stop, police said.
'It went back on to the road and rammed into the back of a minibus ... before crashing into the estate agency,' Senior Inspector Mak Chi-keung of the Kowloon West traffic unit said. The three drivers and two passengers were injured. No one was inside the office.
Two pedestrians were injured by flying debris when the van smashed into a wooden handcart that had been left at the bus stop by its elderly owner while he went into a nearby block of flats. 'When I reached the first floor, I heard a loud bang. I came down and found my handcart in pieces,' he said.
The injured were taken to Caritas Medical Centre, where the 78-year-old driver of the van was in stable condition. The others, aged between 36 and 78, were discharged after treatment. The van driver told police the brakes had failed.
Officers were investigating whether the van was being used illegally as a shuttle bus to transport villagers between Cheung Hang Village in Kwai Chung and Hing Wah Street in Sham Shui Po.
According to police figures, 19 people died in 18 traffic accidents in the first two months of the year. Thirty-one people were killed in 25 accidents in the same period last year.
19 people were killed in traffic accidents in the first two months of this year
The total number of road deaths for the whole of last year was: 139