Date
8 December 2016
The ambulance had difficulty reaching the scene because many private cars were occupying one lane of the two-way street leading up to the school. Photo: Google Maps
The ambulance had difficulty reaching the scene because many private cars were occupying one lane of the two-way street leading up to the school. Photo: Google Maps

Former CEO dies of heart attack after ambulance stuck in traffic

A former chief executive of Jardine Aviation Services died of a heart attack while on his way to pick up his son from school in Kowloon City.

Enoch Lam, 50, collapsed while walking up a path to the Diocesan Boys’ School Primary Division at around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Apple Daily reports.

A 42-year-old woman surnamed Chin said she called the police immediately, but a responding ambulance had difficulty reaching the scene because many private cars were occupying one lane of the two-way street leading up to the school.

It was also reported that the ambulance had gone the wrong way to Kadoorie Avenue, causing further delay.

At the time of the incident, many school buses were also leaving the campus, adding to the traffic bottleneck.

Some school workers even had to act as traffic wardens to make way for the ambulance.

Mrs. Wong said she was waiting outside the school to pick up her boy at the time, and saw two police vehicles chasing away cars idling along the school path before the incident.

However, the illegally parked cars returned as soon as the police left, she said.

The school’s head teacher Phyllis Lo said what happened was really sad and they were trying to console the boy. 

Lo also noted that the ambulance went the wrong way and there was a traffic jam outside the school at the time.

The school reminds parents every year that cars picking up schoolchildren could only enter the campus from 3:25 p.m. onwards, while drivers must always be aboard or beside their vehicles while waiting for the boys.

The Fire Services Department dismissed allegations that the ambulance was late, saying it took the vehicle around 10 minutes to arrive at the scene, which is compliant with the department’s service performance pledge of arriving within 12 minutes.

A spokesperson said the ambulance was summoned at 3:06 p.m. It arrived at 3:16 p.m., and left after seven minutes.

The patient was taken to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei at 3:30 p.m.

Apple Daily reporters noticed that there were usually more than 10 cars parked along the 100-meter driveway to the school during pick-up time in the afternoon, forcing cars leaving or going to the campus to share a single-traffic lane.

Some drivers said they usually park their cars on Victory Avenue and walk up to the campus to pick up the schoolchildren.

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