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Traffic and road safety in Hong Kong

Driver of coach in fatal Tsing Yi crash had been involved in seven traffic violations in recent years

  • Fok Chi-sum, who died of injuries incurred in the crash, had been involved in a separate collision on the same route just weeks earlier
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 December, 2018, 7:30pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 December, 2018, 10:32pm

The coach driver who died as a result of last Friday’s fatal collision with a taxi, which killed five others and injured 31 people, had been involved in a total of seven previous incidences of careless driving and speeding since 2013, according to government sources.

In addition to the seven cases, Fok Chi-sum, 62, was also involved in another traffic accident in November – just weeks before the fatal crash – in which his coach, carrying workers to Hong Kong International Airport collided with two other vehicles at about 5am. No casualties were reported. Police are still investigating the cause of the incident.

Commenting on Fok’s past driving record, one source told the Post that “he was not a safe driver”.

Initial investigation showed he was caught for careless driving in three separate incidents since 2013, according to the source. The source said that the three cases this year, including the fatal crash, occurred around 5am when Fok was taking workers to the airport.

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The most recent case happened on February 3 this year when his coach slammed into the back of a truck on the North Lantau Highway on Lantau Island soon after 5am. Fok and his 15 passengers were injured.

The source said the other two incidents of careless driving involving Fok happened in 2013 and 2017.

He said Fok had at least four records of speeding in 2016 and 2017.

The source also said it was unclear whether Fok was driving a coach in the incidents that happened between 2013 and 2017.

Fok died in Princess Margaret Hospital on Tuesday after he suffered from internal bleeding and fell unconscious in the fatal crash.

He was driving the coach ferrying 36 workers to the airport when it ploughed into the back of a stationary taxi on the Cheung Tsing Highway, Tsing Yi at about 5am last Friday. Four passengers on the coach, including two Cathay Pacific Group employees, and the taxi driver, also died in the incident.

The collision happened 30 to 40 seconds after the taxi broke down and the driver switched on the hazard lights, in which time a about 10 other vehicles had overtaken the cab.

A government source told the Post on Tuesday it was unlikely the crash was caused by a mechanical fault and police believed it was the result of human error.

Officers from the New Territories South traffic unit were investigating whether Fok had dozed off at the wheel at the time of the incident.

Another source said police would compile a death report to be submitted to the Coroner’s Court, which will then rule on whether an inquest will be held.

Safety measures enhanced along Tai Po Road after horror bus crash

Police are also investigating whether Fok had properly fastened his seat belt at the time of the crash. He was among four people who were thrown from the coach.

The road fatality sparked a call in the city to review the necessity of regulating and requiring all passengers boarding non-franchised buses to fasten seat belts.

Before lunchtime on Wednesday, the section of Cheung Tsing Highway was closed for traffic for about two hours as more than 100 people attended a ritual for four of the six victims killed in the incident.

They arrived in buses and coaches before the ritual started at 11am. During the ceremony, relatives and friends held incense and bowed in front of an altar at the site where the accident happened last Friday.