A Hong Kong bus driver was sentenced on Wednesday to four years in prison for dangerous driving which caused a crash that killed six and injured 39 near Sheung Shui in 2019.
The District Court sentenced 57-year-old Man Chi-kwong after the Kowloon Motor Bus driver pleaded guilty earlier to dangerous driving causing death and grievous bodily harm, local media reported. His license was suspended for five years and he must take a course to improve his driving.
According to local media, Man admitted driving a bus dangerously on the Fanling Highway on December 18, 2019, and causing the death of three men and three women. He also accepted responsibility for injuring five men and three women severely.
The fatal crash in 2019 saw a KMB 978 bus ramming into barriers and trees. Police said at the time that the upper deck was sliced open and passengers were thrown out.
District Judge Isaac Tam said bus surveillance video showed Man nodded and touched his face with his hand during the journey. There were suspicions he was dozing off, local media reported.
Local media also cited Tam as saying Man’s hand came off the steering wheel briefly, causing the bus to drift leftward and smash into the trees and roadside barriers.
Tam said there was no evidence that Man had been speeding but he put passengers’ lives in danger and his criminal liability was “serious.”
Chief Inspector Tsui Ka-wing from the New Territories North regional crime unit told reporters outside court that Wednesday’s sentence reflected the severity of the case.
“Police again urge every driver, especially occupational drivers, to be responsible for the safety of passengers and other road users,” she said.