Tuen Mun bus crash victims sue truck driver

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 June, 2006, 12:00am

Several survivors of the Tuen Mun highway bus crash in which 21 people died are suing the driver and owner of the truck that caused the accident.

Driver Li Chau-wing, 55, and owner Yip Cheuk-yuen are also being sued by the estate of Choy Oi-lin, who died in the 2003 accident.

Two writs seeking damages from the pair were filed in the High Court on Monday.

The plaintiffs allege negligence and reckless driving on the part of Mr Li and responsibility on the part of Mr Yip for allowing a defective vehicle on the road.

Twenty-one people died when Mr Li lost control of his articulated truck which slammed into a KMB bus travelling along an elevated section of Tuen Mun Road on the morning of July 10, 2003. The impact caused the bus to smash through the guard rail and plunge 30 metres to the ground below.

Last month, KMB launched a suit against Mr Li and Mr Yip to recover $1,147,784 it paid to the family of bus driver Chan Wan-lin, who died in the accident.

Mr Li was sentenced last July to 18 months in prison for dangerous driving causing death. He was freed in February after charges were reduced to careless driving and his sentence cut to five months. A two-year driving ban remained in place.

Judges found insufficient weight had been given to his version of events at the earlier trial. Also, tests showed the truck tended to veer to the left under heavy braking, even on straight roads.

'The characteristics of the particular vehicle itself rather than the nature of [Mr Li's] driving alone, may have contributed to the loss of control and the collision with the bus,' the judges said at the time.