Accused in AYE reverse-driving accident accepts liability in civil suit from injured couple

Mr Teh Tze Yong and his wife, Madam Janice Choo, were on a motorcycle on their way to work when a Mercedes-Benz driven by Lim Chai Heng, hurtled towards them on Dec 19, 2016.
Mr Teh Tze Yong and his wife, Madam Janice Choo, were on a motorcycle on their way to work when a Mercedes-Benz driven by Lim Chai Heng, hurtled towards them on Dec 19, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A businessman who drove in the reverse direction on the Ayer Rajah Expressway, which caused an accident that killed one, has accepted full responsibility in a civil suit filed by two of the three injured victims.

The plaintiffs - Mr Teh Tze Yong and his wife, Madam Janice Choo, both 35 - were on a motorcycle on their way to work when a Mercedes-Benz driven by Lim Chai Heng, aged 53 at the time of offence, hurtled towards them on Dec 19 last year at 8.02am.

Madam Choo, an administration executive, fractured her left leg while her husband, forklift driver, had fractures on both hands and injuries to three fingers in the collision. Both have been working in Singapore for over 10 years and living in the Pioneer area.

According to court documents, the couple put in a combined claim of about $553,000 against Lim for their damages such as medical and transport expenses and loss of earnings.

Both parties reached settlement on Friday (Nov 3) at the High Court. The exact amount of damages will be determined at a later court hearing.

The accident killed artiste Jackie Liong, 37, who was driving a Toyota Vios with his wife, Madam Venny Oliver, 37, also in the vehicle. She was injured and warded in hospital.

According to his portfolio website,  Liong had appeared on television in programmes such as Code Of Law and First Class, as well as a Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial.

Lim's car also wrecked two other cars and a private bus. Swathes of wall along the expressway before Tuas West Road exit were also seriously damaged.

A day after the accident, on Dec 20, Lim was charged with causing death by reckless or

 

dangerous driving for his role in the accident that claimed one life. The criminal case is still

 

pending.

Madam Choo told the Straits Times on Friday that her current wish is to settle the incident "as soon as possible".

"My husband and I just want this nightmare to be over so we can move on with our lives," said Madam Choo, who has since returned to work, in Mandarin.

After the accident, the couple had to live apart for about six months so that family members could take care of them, she added.