Chong Pang Market motorist fined $7,000 and banned for causing grievous hurt

Lim Swee Huat, 66, who injured four people near Chong Pang Market when his car crashed into them was fined $7,000 on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Lim Swee Huat, 66, who injured four people near Chong Pang Market when his car crashed into them was fined $7,000 on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A businessman who injured four people near Chong Pang Market when his car crashed into them was fined $7,000 on Wednesday.

Lim Swee Huat, 66, was also banned from driving for two years over the Aug 6, 2012 accident in Yishun.

He pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt to Madam Thangaraj Mahalakshmi, 52, a production operator, and Mr Toh Eng Lay, 55, by a negligent act that had put lives at risk. He also admitted to causing hurt to Mr Ng Yeo Hock, 69, a newspaper vendor, and Madam Seah Peck Hong, 63.

At about 8.20am on Aug 6, Lim was trying to drive his Mercedes-Benz car out of an open space carpark lot at Yishun Avenue 5 near Block 102 when he failed to ensure that the gear was in "drive'', noted Deputy Public Prosecutor Navin Naidu.

Lim stepped on the accelerator when it was actually the "reverse'' gear that was engaged. The car's rear wheels immediately mounted the kerb. Lim panicked and stepped on the accelerator instead of the brakes, which caused the car to reverse onto the walkway, reportedly knocking over stalls and sending red onions and newspapers into the air.

The car swung out of control for about 20 to 30m before coming to a stop. By then, it had injured four people in the vicinity.

Madam Mahalakshmi suffered multiple rib and skull fractures and was warded for about two weeks before she was transferred to a community hospital.

Mr Toh, whose left leg was broken, was warded for three days and given eight months of medical leave.

Mr Ng had abrasions on his arm and heel while his sister Ng Su Kee complained of giddiness. Both were treated as outpatients. They suffered $1,700 in losses due to the damage caused to their newspaper stand.

Madam Seah tripped and fell when she was trying to get out of the way.

"You have caused great panic and alarm to hapless members of the pedestrian public, who understandably feared for their lives as your vehicle careened over the pavement," District Judge Marvin Bay told Lim.

Lim, who has been driving for more than 30 years, had pleaded through his lawyer against the driving ban. But the judge said it was best that his driving skills be re-evaluated.