SCMP Saturday, April 7, 2001

Four police hurt, 13 cars damaged in high-speed chase


A suspected drunken driver injured four police officers and damaged 13 vehicles during a 20-minute rush-hour car chase that reached speeds up to 100km/h through the streets of Kowloon yesterday evening.
The man - who police tried to stop by firing a shot at his van when he tried to ram a pursuing police car in Kowloon City - eventually stopped after ploughing into three police motorcycles and several cars as he careered the wrong way up Kimberley Road in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Police said last night that the driver, Ko Wai-kit, 22, had refused to take a breathlyser test. He had been arrested for furious driving and resisting arrest and was being detained for further inquiries.
One officer in a police emergency unit car and three motorcycle police officers were injured before the van finally stopped in Kimberley Road. The injured officers were treated and discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital. No one was injured by the police gunshot.
The drama began at about 5.45pm when a traffic policeman saw a blue van being driven the wrong way along Ting On Street after turning in from Kwun Tong Road. The officer gave chase as the van turned into Ngau Tau Kok Road and into On Wah Street. The van was then involved in a minor collision with an oil truck in Chun Wah Road.
In Prince Edward Road East, near the former Kai Tak airport, the van hit three cars before speeding away. In Prince Edward Road West, where police set up a roadblock, the van rammed into an Emergency Unit car, slightly injuring an officer, before speeding off.
Heading towards Mongkok, it turned into Waterloo Road, went up Princess Margaret Road and Hong On Street and into Austin Road before being driven along Kimberley Road the wrong way. Chased by a fleet of about 10 police motorcycles, the van hit five other vehicles - three cars, a taxi, a van and sent three traffic officers flying from their motorcycles.
Lee Kai-man, an employee of the Tokyo House restaurant in Kimberley Road, said he saw a blue van being chased by about 10 police motorcycles. "Shortly afterwards I heard two loud bangs and I thought they were gunshots," Mr Lee said.
An officer at the scene said the van was travelling at speeds of up to 100km/h. A woman newspaper seller said she was scared when she saw the high-speed chase and was forced to take refuge inside a clothes shop.