A former bus driver was sentenced to 45 months in jail on Monday over charges of dangerous driving following an accident early last year that killed one person and injured 20 others.
Handing the punishment to Man Chun-pun, who had been working for franchised transport operator Citybus, a District Court judge also suspended the defendant’s driving license for five years.
The ruling came after Man, who is now 62, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving causing death and another count of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.
On the night of January 14, 2017, Man was at the wheel of a double-decker bus when it met with a horrific accident in Lam Tin.
As Man was driving the route number 681 bus that was heading to Hong Kong station in Central from Ma On Shan town center, the vehicle rammed into a concrete barrier on Lei Yue Mun Road near the Lam Tin MTR station and tipped over on its side.
The crash led to one passenger — a 42-year-old woman — dying on the spot and 20 others suffering injuries.
Man, after being arrested, claimed he suffered a blackout just before the accident and that he only regained consciousness when the bus was lying on its side.
The driver, who had been working for Citybus since 1994, was reported to have been fired by his employer immediately after the incident.
The police, meanwhile, slapped charges of dangerous driving.
During the court hearing, the defense lawyer sought leniency for his client, saying Man had suffered a temporary lapse in focus while driving.
The judge, however, said the case is serious and warrants a heavy sentence, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Judge Timothy Harry Casewell pointed out that the vehicle operated by Man was a public bus and that the driver had failed to ensure passenger safety, as he drove at high speed and hit a concrete barrier.
Announcing the jail term and suspension of the driving license, the judge also ordered Man to complete a driving improvement course at his own expense.
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