A Hong Kong taxi driver has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, after he rammed his vehicle into a pedestrian island in Tai Po. The fatal crash left two people dead and eight others injured.

Police arrested a 63-year-old male driver, who lost control of his red urban taxi on Kwong Fuk Road at 11.21 am Sunday, before knocking down a traffic light and a group of pedestrians who were crossing the road. The force confirmed that the driver had run a red light, though he passed the sobriety and drug tests.

Tai Po taxi crash kwong fuk road
A fatal crash on Kwong Fuk Road in Tai Po. Photo: Stand News.

A 59-year-old man, who sustained serious head injuries, was pronounced dead at the scene. The death toll in the crash rose to two on Monday morning, after a 63-year-old woman succumbed to her injuries at Tuen Mun Hospital at around 7 am.

A four-year-old boy and a pregnant woman were among the four men and four women injured. They were sent to the Prince of Wales Hospital, North District Hospital and the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital for treatment.

Eyewitness footage shared online showed over 20 onlookers lifting the taxi to help free an injured man trapped under the vehicle. A stream of blood was seen on the ground near where the man lay.

Online clips also appeared to show a man wearing a blue top exiting the taxi driver’s seat slowly after the crash. He briefly looked inside the vehicle again, before walking to the front of the cab to fix his shoes. The footage showed him walking back and forth around the vehicle and checking the trunk, though he did not appear to check on those injured.

The driver was apprehended for alleged dangerous driving causing death. He said he was unwell in police custody and was hospitalised in a conscious state, according to a government press release.

Appeal for witnesses

Acting chief inspector Tsang Ka-chun of the Traffic New Territories North Headquarters appealed to people who witnessed the accident to come forward: “We will conduct an investigation into the condition of the vehicle, the driver’s mental state and the road condition,” Tsang said.

Tsang Ka-chun
Tsang Ka-chun. Photo: Hong Kong Police Facebook screenshot.

In a press release issued on Sunday afternoon, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan said he was “deeply saddened” by the incident and expressed condolences to the family of the deceased whilst wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

“[R]elevant government departments have followed up and rendered assistance to the families concerned, and the police would investigate into the cause of the accident,” he said.

This piece was updated at noon on Monday following a second death.

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Tsang Ka-chun

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Kelly Ho

Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.