AN elderly woman died after being knocked down by a runaway tractor, the High Court heard yesterday. Driver Chan Wai-kwan allegedly admitted to the police that when he parked the vehicle on a slope, he had not applied the handbrake or engaged the tractor in any gear. Chan, 29, defended by Joe Kenny, denied the manslaughter of 62-year-old Kong Wai-kuen, whom the Crown said was killed because of his gross negligence. He is being tried by a jury before Mr Justice Wong. Outlining the Crown's case, Senior Assistant Crown Prosecutor Samuel Leung said Woo Lai-fong was on her way to a market at about 8 am on August 31 when she saw a tractor back onto the pavement in Sau Mau Ping Road and stop. Before she walked on, she saw the driver alight from the vehicle and walk to a rear wheel. Shortly after that, counsel said, Ms Woo saw the tractor slowly move past her, pick up speed, knock down a set of railings and eventually mount a concrete wall and come to a stop. She went to the other side of the road and saw a woman, Kong, lying behind the vehicle, Mr Leung said. Kong was taken to the United Christian Hospital where she was certified dead. Mr Leung said public light bus driver Chan Kam-tung also witnessed part of the accident. He saw a man initially standing next to the driver's door of the stationary tractor. When the vehicle started to move forward slowly, the man had tried to push it back from the front to no avail, the court heard. The tractor then rolled down the road with the man chasing after it, but since Mr Chan Kam-tung had to accelerate to avoid being hit by the vehicle, he did not look back and did not know what had happened afterwards, counsel said. The court heard that a passenger on the bus, teacher Yue Fung-ying, saw the man running after the vehicle trying unsuccessfully to board it. She witnessed the tractor bump against a railing, then hit the woman before mounting the concrete wall, counsel said. Mr Leung said the tractor was later examined and the braking system was found to be in good condition. It was the Crown's case that Kong's death was caused by the gross negligence of the defendant in omitting to apply the handbrake and engage the vehicle in any gear, he said.