Passers-by were seen scrambling on the floor picking up oranges spilled across the road after an elderly man pushing a cart of fruit was hit by a drunk driver and killed on Saturday morning in Yau Ma Tei.

The driver, 41, has been charged with one count of drunk driving and one count of dangerous driving causing death. He will appear before the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court on Monday, Headline Daily reported.

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Passers-by picking up oranges spilled across the road following the incident.

The incident took place around 5am on Saturday morning. A 76-year-old man was pushing cartons of fruit along Canton Road in Yau Ma Tei when he was hit by a vehicle. He was later pronounced dead at the Kwong Wah Hospital.

An alcohol assessment showed that the driver’s blood alcohol content was three times over the limit. He was also understood to have had his licence suspended previously for drunk driving.

A Mr Ho, who was the intended recipient of the goods – which were worth HK$4,000 – said that there were in total 19 crates of oranges, five crates of grapes, five crates of mangoes, and four crates of apples. He also said that he would be seeking compensation from the driver.

oranges frenzy
A woman in a wheelchair was seen carrying a bag full of oranges away from the scene.

Following the incident, the fruit the victim had been carrying spilled all over the ground. This prompted a mad scramble by passers-by, who picked up the fruit and carried bags full of it away as the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department cleaned up the scene.

Many netizens were critical of the pedestrians’ behaviour, saying it was “inhumane” and that “Hong Kong has been [morally] polluted”, Oriental Daily reported.

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Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said that since Ho, the owner of the goods, had already expressed his intention to give up the fruit, the pedestrians would not be committing an offence of theft by picking them up, Apple Daily reported.

Karen cheung hong kong

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.