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Pinay convicted of causing traffic accident that injured her

24 January 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao
The street corner where the accident happened  (Wikipedia photo)
A 46-year-old Filipina was fined $300 by an Eastern Court magistrate on Jan 23 who found her guilty of negligence that caused a passenger bus to hit and injure her in April last year. The traffic accident in Central also injured two female bus passengers.

This was despite Marivic Magno’s claim that the traffic light was still green though blinking, when she crossed Des Voeux Road towards WorldWide House at around 4pm on Apr 6 last year.

Magno, a domestic helper of a Dutch family in Mid-Levels, had disputed the Citybus driver’s claim that the pedestrian light was on red when she dashed across the street.

Driver Roger Chang was the first prosecution witness who gave evidence in the one-day trial before Magistrate Selma Masood.

The prosecution had lined up four witnesses, but only the driver and passerby Yeung Ho-ping were called to give evidence. The second witness, one of the injured passengers, was not available for the trial because she was in hospital.

Defending herself, Magno challenged Yeung’s claim that the “red walking man” pedestrian light was on when the helper crossedthe road.

She said during cross examination that CCTV footages of the accident would bear out her claim that the “green walking man” light was still blinking when she crossed the street.

But Masood agreed with the prosecutor that Section 48 of Hong Kong’s Road Traffic Ordinance provides that a pedestrian violates the law if she crosses the road while the green pedestrian light is blinking.

In any case the magistrate said she was convinced that the helper had crossed the road when the pedestrian light was already red because she was in a hurry to catch the tram to Wanchai, where she was headed for the market.

The magistrate found the accused guilty of the charge of pedestrian negligence that endangered the lives of other people and said she was liable to pay a fine of $500.

But after getting Magno’s personal details and being told that she had a clear record, while the bus driver had two previous traffic convictions, the magistrate reduced the fine to $300 . She also gave the defendant until Jan 30 to pay it.

The Filipina said she was earning $4,500 a month as a domestic helper, and was  supporting her 84-year-old bedridden mother back home.

During trial it emerged that Chang, who has been a bus driver for 28 years with 19 years for Citybus, was driving a Tsuen Wan-bound Bus 930 on Des Voeux Road near Pedder St when he hit Magno on Apr 6 last year.

He said he braked hard but still hit the woman, who suddenly dashed out of a crowd on the left kerb in front of Citibank. He said that at the time the traffic light for cars was green.

The impact threw Magno about two meters from the bus front and broke its left windshield. Two female passengers on the bus were injured, including one who was thrown from her seat due to the impact and had to be hospitalized for some time.

Magno herself suffered a cut in her scalp, concussions on the left side of her head and shoulder, and impaired hearing in her right ear. 

Yeung, giving evidence, told the court he saw Magno looking downward as she tinkered with something in her left hand.

But cross-examining him, Magno asked why he told the police he saw her tinkering with her cellphone and was now telling the court he was unsure what it was.

Despite her vigorous defense, Magno failed to convince the magistrate that she should be acquitted of the charge.


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