A MENTALLY retarded patient was knocked over by a goods van hours after he slipped away from hospital, an inquest heard. Yeung Chi-ming, 37, died the next day of a fractured skull and bleeding of the brain, the Coroner's Court was told. A jury before Coroner John Saunders recorded a verdict of death by accident. The inquest was told that Yeung had been a patient at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital's Oi Wah Home since last April. At 9.35 am on September 11, supervisor Liu To-ming, Father Carlo Gimilini and two staff took six patients into a garden in the hospital grounds. Ms Liu told the court that someone approached her, blocking her view and she had then lost sight of Yeung. Staff members were unable to find him and his disappearance was reported to police. Father Gimilini told the court there were many exits in the garden but added that it was not easy for patients to escape. The court heard that Yeung was knocked down by a goods vehicle in Tung Hei Street, Shau Kei Wan, at about 1 pm on the same day. Cheung Wai-ming, the driver of the van, said he saw Yeung suddenly step out from the pavement. The court was told it took 30 minutes to walk from Eastern Hospital to the site where Yeung was hit. The inquest heard Yeung was in a coma after the accident and died the next day in Queen Mary Hospital. A vehicle examiner told the court minor mechanical defects found on the van would not have contributed to the accident.