Bus driver gets jail, driving ban for fatal crash

The off-service SBS Transit bus being inspected after it collided with Ms Lucinia Wong Hang Yee, a nurse, outside Punggol bus interchange on May 15, 2015.
The off-service SBS Transit bus being inspected after it collided with Ms Lucinia Wong Hang Yee, a nurse, outside Punggol bus interchange on May 15, 2015. PHOTO: SHIN MIN

He knocked down nurse crossing at T-junction with lights in her favour

A BUS DRIVER who ran over and killed a nurse was jailed for two months and banned from the road for five years yesterday.

Muhammad Firdaus Norahim, 30, pleaded guilty to causing her death by failing to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians.

The Malaysian national had been driving an off-service SBS Transit bus out of Punggol Bus Interchange at around 6.45am on May 15.

As he made a right turn at the T-junction onto Punggol Place Road, his bus collided with Madam Lucinia Wong Hang Yee, 30, who was crossing while the pedestrian lights were in her favour.

Footage retrieved from another SBS bus nearby revealed that the traffic lights for the driver and pedestrian turned green at the same time. Muhammad Firdaus had stopped the bus at the T-junction and waited for the green light.

But he did not slow down as he approached the crossing after turning and hit Madam Wong, who was dragged underneath the bus for a short distance before it came to a halt.

She suffered serious injuries and was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8.15am.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Koh Huimin said: "Such blatant disregard of the pedestrian's right of way puts unsuspecting pedestrians in grave danger in a location which ought to be a safety zone for pedestrians."

The prosecution also argued that the incident took place during the morning rush hour when pedestrian traffic is typically high, and as a public bus driver, Muhammad Firdaus would have known this.

Muhammad Firdaus had originally been charged with causing death by a rash act, but had his charge reduced to a negligent act in view of his early guilty plea.

For causing the death of a person by a rash act, he could have been imprisoned for up to five years and fined.

For causing the death of a person by a negligent act, he could have been imprisoned for up to two years and fined.

rkurohi@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2015, with the headline 'Bus driver gets jail, driving ban for fatal crash'. Print Edition | Subscribe