Anger at bus driver's sentence

A widow yesterday hit out at a 2.5-year jail term handed to the driver of a bus that overturned, killing her husband and four other passengers.

District Court Judge Stephen Chow Siu-hung said the term was sufficient punishment for Sum Wing-yiu, 32, who was convicted of causing death by reckless driving. He had pleaded not guilty.

He was banned from driving for four years and must pass a test before taking to the road again.

Five of the 62 passengers on the double-decker Citybus on Route 118 were killed and the rest injured when it skidded and overturned on the Tonnochy Road flyover in Wan Chai on January 30 last year.

The widow of Mak Kwong-king, 45, who died 2.5 months after the accident, said: 'This does not do justice to the dead and injured.' She said the minimum sentence for Sum should be five years - the maximum laid down by law.

Defence counsel Peter Wan Wah-shing said Sum and his family had been under 'enormous psychological stress' since the tragedy.

'The psychological stress on us has been much greater than on him,' said Mrs Mak, who has a daughter and three sons.

Judge Chow acknowledged that Sum and his family had been psychologically hurt by the accident, for which he took four months off the initial three-year sentence.

Sum's elderly father died from asthma two months after the accident and the son felt responsible for hastening the old man's death, Mr Wan said.

The defendant had since become suicidal.

Sum had no previous record of traffic offences, for which Judge Chow allowed an additional discount of two months, bringing the term to 2.5 years.

Sum was found to be driving at a 'dangerous' speed of 64km/h, exceeding the 50km/h limit on the flyover.