British Columbia

Appeal in fatal dangerous driving case a relief to victim's daughter

Prosecutors are appealing the acquittal of a driver who hit and killed a doctor while going almost three times the speed limit. His daughter is expressing gratitude for the appeal and for over 50,000 people who signed a petition demanding it.

Ken Chung found not guilty of dangerous driving causing death

Dr. Alphonsus Hui, far right, poses for a family photo with daughter Monique, far left, wife Josephine and son Creighton. (Supplied by Monique Hui)

Prosecutors have decided to appeal the acquittal of a driver who hit and killed Vancouver a doctor while going almost three times the speed limit.

The B.C. Prosecution Service announced the news in a statement Thursday.

Ken Chung was found not guilty of dangerous driving causing death May 25.

Prosecutors alleged Chung, in 2015, was driving up to 139 km/h on Vancouver's Oak Street — a 50 km/h  zone — when his silver Audi slammed into a red Suzuki driven by Dr. Alphonsus Hui, sending Hui's vehicle airborne.

According to court documents, Hui died at the scene from "multiple blunt force trauma sustained from the force of the crash."

Prosecutors are appealing Ken Chung's acquittal on a charge of dangerous driving causing death. (Peter Scobie/CBC)

Appeal in 'public interest'

Judge Gregory Rideout ruled in May that despite the "fatal and tragic consequences" of Chung's dangerous driving, "there is at least a reasonable doubt that such conduct amounted to a marked departure from the standard of a reasonably prudent driver."

Chung's lawyers argued he had been driving responsibly except for the block or less when he "momentarily accelerated his high powered Audi to an excessive speed."

"I conclude the momentariness of the accused's conduct in excessively speeding is insufficient to meet the criminal fault component, and he must be acquitted," Rideout wrote.

Prosecutors say they are "satisfied" the judge's ruling reveals errors of law and it is possible those errors contributed to his findings.

They also said "the public interest requires an appeal."

Victim's daughter relieved

Hui's daughter, Monique Hui, slammed the acquittal as "a slap in our face" to herself and her family but was relieved and grateful at news of the appeal.

On June 10, she started a petition calling on prosecutors to file an appeal. By June 14, that petition received over 50,000 signatures.

"Today was the first day we felt we could breathe," Hui recalled of when prosecutors called her and informed her of the news. "I called my Mum and we cried."

Dr. Alphonsus Hui was killed in a car crash in Vancouver on Nov. 14, 2015, when he was hit by a speeding vehicle driven by Ken Chung. (Supplied by Monique Hui)

Hui said she was confident Chung would be convicted and felt "bewilderment" when he wasn't. "We no longer understood our justice system."

She said she will be meeting with Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and other MLAs Friday to talk about changes to the law.

 Read more from CBC British Columbia

Hui explained she will press those politicians to call for stiffer penalties for drivers who behave dangerously on the road — and for people repeatedly convicted of excessive speeding to lose their licences for good.

About the Author

Liam Britten

Digital journalist

Liam Britten is an award-winning journalist for CBC Vancouver. You can contact him at liam.britten@cbc.ca or follow him on Twitter: @liam_britten. Liam contributes to CBC Vancouver's Impact Team, where he investigates and reports on stories that impact people in their local community.