Hong Kong courts

Hong Kong bus driver guilty of crash death after judge rejects cheese allergy excuse

Leung Wai-kong told police he might have lost consciousness after eating some cheese but footage showed he had been violently sick twice before fatal crash

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 August, 2018, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 August, 2018, 10:48pm

A Hong Kong bus driver was on Monday found guilty of causing a pedestrian’s death after a judge rejected his excuse that he had passed out after eating cheese.

Leung Wai-kong, 42, had pleaded not guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing death at the start of his trial at the District Court earlier in August.

The KMB driver crashed his route 1A double-decker onto the pavement in the busy district of Tsim Sha Tsui at 6am on September 29, 2016, killing a 26-year-old woman.

Following his arrest, Leung told police he might have lost consciousness after eating some cheese, the result of an allergic reaction. A university lecturer he called as a witness suspected he was suffering from acute gastroenteritis that had caused him to pass out because of the pain.

But judge Frankie Yiu Fun-che ruled Leung knew he was feeling unwell yet decided to continue driving. He said Leung had “disregarded the safety of other road users”.

The judge said closed circuit television footage showed Leung had already been violently sick twice on the bus before the crash.

During the trial, Yiu noted, even the medical expert Leung had called agreed that no one should be behind the steering wheel if suffering from vomiting.

He ordered a background report on Leung and remanded him, pending sentencing on September 10.

The court heard earlier the crash took place at the junction of Nathan Road and Haiphong Road.

According to court evidence, a passenger noticed Leung had passed out and had to wake him up after the collision.