Car slams into crossing crowd

At least 13 people, including a Hong Kong civil servant, were injured when a car plowed into a throng of pedestrians at a zebra crossing near Guangzhou East Station during rush hour yesterday morning.

Charlotte Luo

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

At least 13 people, including a Hong Kong civil servant, were injured when a car plowed into a throng of pedestrians at a zebra crossing near Guangzhou East Station during rush hour yesterday morning.

The Hongkonger was Raymond Wong Wai-keung, the principal information officer at the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong.

The accident happened at 8.50am at the junction of Linhe Middle Road and Linle Road near CITIC Plaza, home of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.

A white Mercedes-Benz pulled away at a red light and drove through a throng of pedestrians making the crossing, hitting more than a dozen people. It rammed two other vehicles before it stopped.

The injured were taken to three hospitals, with Wong being sent to the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen.

The car's 45-year-old female driver, surnamed Ding, was detained.

An internet user identified her as Ding Wei, who was among the top 10 fashion designers in Guangzhou in 2011.

The user said Ding was single, lived in Zhujiang New Town and worked at a fashion school in Guangzhou. Her father is reportedly renowned in the industry.

The Guangzhou police bureau said all the injured were in stable condition.

Ding told the police she turned to get a water bottle on the back seat while waiting at the lights. She said the car was in drive mode and she lost control.

A car is supposed to be on neutral mode at a red light. Or if a driver wants to be on drive mode, he or she should be stepping on the brakes.

Ding apparently took her foot off the brake, leading to the accident.

Ding was wearing platform shoes when she stepped out of the car, witnesses said.

Another witness said a young woman was dragged several meters.

Speaking on radio, Wong said: "I was on my way to work when the car suddenly drove toward the crowd at the crossing."

He said a lot of pedestrians were making the crossing. Some of them, including young people and the elderly, could not get out of the way in time.

Wong suffered injuries to his arm and leg, and said his mind went blank at the time.

A pedestrian helped him to the side of the road.

Since Wong's didn't have any broken bones, he was allowed to leave hospital.

Staff from the trade office came to assist, and Wong said no other Hongkongers were injured in the accident.