TWO bystanders were run over and killed when a policeman shot dead the driver of a van during a dramatic chase, an inquest heard yesterday. Building site supervisors Lam Ching-cheung, 39, and Tse Ka-hoi, 45, were mown down as wanted criminal Kwong Wai-yuen, 20, tried to flee in the stolen vehicle, the jury was told. Kwong, who did not have a driving licence, was discovered moments later slumped over the steering wheel. A bullet had punctured his lung. He died on the way to hospital. Constable Wong Wai-hing, 25, nicknamed Tyson, told the Coroner's Court he fired the fatal shot through the windscreen as Kwong drove towards him, then collapsed unconscious after the van struck him. He said he opened fire because he feared for the life of Constable Kam Chi-hang, 23, who was being dragged by the vehicle. The court heard how the three deaths occurred during an anti-burglary operation in Tan Kwai Village, Yuen Long, on May 25, last year. A team of plain-clothes officers had been told to look out for Kwong, who had jumped bail while awaiting trial for drug trafficking and was wanted for burglary. Constable Wong told the inquest how he spotted Kwong and Lam Kar-lei, 16, acting suspiciously near an empty house. The teenager was arrested but Kwong fled over rooftops before jumping into a white van owned by Chan Chi-keung. Mr Chan, 32, fled and Kwong vaulted into the driver's seat as Constable Wong arrived and tried to get into the vehicle, the inquest heard. When Constable Kam arrived he shattered the passenger window with the butt of his revolver in a bid to unlock the door. But the van moved off, trapping the officer's left hand and dragging him backwards, the jury was told. Stretching both arms in front of him with his hands together, Constable Wong re-enacted the moment he took aim. The officer defended his decision to open fire, saying he had no alternative. 'The van jerked and then started off. Constable Kam shouted in a very frightened manner: 'Tyson! My hand is trapped!' His body was still hanging from the van. I realised his life was in danger,' he told the jury. The driver ignored his order to stop and continued driving towards him. When the van was about two metres away 'I fired one shot towards Kwong's lower body because I did not want to hit his head', Constable Wong said. 'The van bumped into me and I was knocked on to the pavement. I felt a great pain in my chest and was very dizzy.' Constable Kam managed to free himself and both officers chased the van but Constable Wong lost consciousness and collapsed. He said he did not see the van hit Tse or Lam. Coroner Ian Carlson said the vehicle struck the men 150 metres down the road as it swerved to avoid an oncoming lorry. He asked Constable Wong why he had not aimed at the van's tyres or fired a warning shot. 'The van was too close. Kwong and I were face to face and Constable Kam was struggling. The only way to get out of that dramatic situation was to fire at Kwong's body. 'Time was too short to fire a warning shot. The van was still rushing at me,' he said. The officer said it was the second time he had drawn his revolver. On the first occasion he had tried to use the butt to smash open a window to get into the van. Lam Ching-cheung's brother Lam Man-cheung, 37, Tse's wife Leung Hing-lan, 37, and Kwong's mother Wong Wai, 65, listened to the evidence. They declined to question the officer about the shooting. Lam, who was married with one son, died within two hours from multiple injuries. Father-of-two Tse died three weeks later when complications set in to a fractured leg. The inquest continues today.