A man who was found dead after being dragged a horrific 16 km under a red minibus may have had clothing caught in the driveshaft of the bus after being knocked down and run over by the vehicle, according to a former crash investigator speculating on how the tragedy could have occurred.
The gruesome drive began just after 8pm in Yau Ma Tei. According to police, the victim, Mr Leung, 77, was struck by the red minibus as he crossed the road at the junction of Ning Po Street and Canton Road, and was then trapped underneath the vehicle.
But while the crash left a pool of blood on the road, the driver was apparently unaware he had knocked a man down, and continued his route.
A passer-by eventually called emergency services, who intercepted the bus at Castle Peak Road-Sham Tseng, an astonishing 16 km away.
Leung was found still trapped under the bus with multiple injuries and was certified dead at the scene.
The bus was a 17-seater Toyota Coaster, model BB70, according to operator AN Bus.
Franki Li, owner of AN Bus, said he could not comment on the cause of the tragedy, with police investigation ongoing.
But a local expert and former crash investigator put forward several ideas, including that clothing was caught in the driveshaft.
“I would suspect clothing is involved and as the vehicle is front-engined with a rear wheel drive with a long prop shaft then that may possibly be part of the issue. If the victim’s clothing was caught in a rotating prop shaft then the physical effects would potentially lead to the outcome noted,” they said.
“Other possibilities are that the poor victim ended up over the drive axle, but whilst not impossible that is hard to imagine for 16 km,” they said, pointing out the man’s predicament may have been a combination of both factors.
Police yesterday arrested the driver, Mr Chik, 70, for dangerous driving causing death and this evening released him on bail. Chik must report back to police in late January.
Police say investigations continue.
The case has shaken the city, with many questioning how such a tragedy could occur. The sheer distance the man was dragged seems to be something of a grisly world record, with other similar cases involving only distances of a few hundred metres.
In Canada in 2005, a drunk driver stealing fuel dragged gas station attendant Grant De Patie under his car for 7 km, killing De Patie. The driver was sentenced to nine years in jail and the case led to a change in the law in British Columbia, requiring drivers to pay for their fuel before filling up.