A taxi driver who died at the wheel in the early hours of Monday told his passenger moments before crashing in Kowloon City that he was feeling unwell.
“[I] might not be able to drive you [to the destination because] my chest hurts,” the passenger, surnamed Chu, recalled the driver saying.
The incident happened at about 5 am Monday. The taxi driver, a 69-year-old surnamed Wong, was driving along Prince Edward Road East to Mong Kok when he suddenly experienced chest pains.
Outside Regal Oriental Hotel in Kowloon City, the driver lost control of the vehicle and rammed into a water barrier. Both the driver and passenger were taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The driver was pronounced dead at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and did not have any visible injuries, while the passenger suffered slight injuries to his nose and legs.
The taxi driver’s daughter told local outlet Ming Pao that his father had been a night-shift taxi driver for close to 40 years, and that he was in good health.
An initial medical check does not rule out a heart attack.
Motor Transport Workers General Union branch director To Sun-tong expressed sorrow over the tragedy. He also urged the government to offer more comprehensive health check services for taxi drivers, and cautioned older taxi drivers to be mindful of their health.
According to the Transport Department’s figures shared in September, more than half of all taxi drivers in Hong Kong are aged 60 or above.