21 November 2018
The bus came to rest against a tree after colliding with a taxi (left). Photos: Apple Daily,
The bus came to rest against a tree after colliding with a taxi (left). Photos: Apple Daily,

Quick-thinking passenger takes control of runaway bus

A shuttle bus passenger saved several people from serious injury by taking the wheel of the vehicle as it rolled down a slope after the driver stepped out, apparently without applying the emergency brake.

The swift decision by the hero, surnamed Chan, to steer the bus to the right prevented it from running over the pedestrians on the left side of the downhill road, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.

The shuttle bus service, which runs between a temple in Tsuen Wan and the MTR’s Tsuen Wan West Station, is provided by Yuen Yuen Institute for its visitors during the Ching Ming festival.

Chan, 57, who visited the temple with 10 relatives Sunday, was on board the bus when he noticed it had started moving although some of his family members had yet to get on.

He tried to alert the driver but was shocked to find that no one was in the driver’s seat.

Chan said he was unable to jump into the driver’s seat and could not locate the hand brake.

By this time, the bus had rolled about 20 meters downhill.

Seeing that it was heading toward a group of people on the left, Chan grabbed the wheel and steered the bus to the right, causing it to collide head-on with a taxi coming from the opposite direction.

The taxi was pushed back about six meters, and the bus finally came to rest after hitting a tree.

“I was very afraid, terribly afraid,” Chan said.

“I had no choice but to do something about it, otherwise people could have got rolled over.”

Chan said he has a valid driving license but has not driven a car for the last 20 years.

The nine passengers on the bus, five men and four women aged 25 to 67, were slightly injured.

Police said the driver, a 38-year-old man surnamed Lo, might have failed to put the hand brake on when he left for the toilet.

The bus and the taxi were taken to government inspection centers for examination. 

No one was arrested.

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