SINGAPORE - An SBS Transit bus driver braked suddenly to avoid hitting a bus in front and caused a passenger to lose her balance and fall backwards on Aug 29 last year .
The passenger, 66-year-old coffee shop assistant Tan Ah Tit, broke her skull and was taken to hospital in a coma. She died five days later.
On Tuesday (March 1), Malaysian Ng Meng Chong, 37, was sentenced to one week's jail and banned from driving for three years after admitting to causing Madam Tan's death through his negligence along Sengkang East Road .
Ng was driving a single deck bus, Service 109, when he failed to keep a proper lookout and keep a safe distance behind another SBS Transit bus after it came to a stop behind a taxi.
The taxi in front of the other bus had stopped to pick up passengers at the bus stop after the junction of Sengkang Square and Sengkang East Road.
Ng's and the other bus had just cleared the junction, which was just before a bus stop.
Ng did not slow down or stop at the junction but maintained his speed, drove across the junction and closed the distance between his bus and the other SBS Transit vehicle.
Simultaneously, Madam Tan, who wanted to alight at the bus stop after the junction, pressed the button signalling her intention to alight. She got up from her seat and moved to stand by the rear exit. She held on to the grab pole.
Due to the hard braking, she lost her grip and was thrown to the front of the bus. She hit her head in the process.
After the bus came to a stop, Ng realised that Madam Tan was in fits and vomiting. An ambulance was called for and she was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where she died on Sept 3.
Pleading for leniency, Ng said in mitigation that he had been unemployed for the past four months, and had just found a job with a salary of RM2,000 (S$670). He said he had to take care of his mother.
His one-week sentence was to take effect from Feb 23, which means he has completed his jail term.
He could have been jailed for up to two years and fined for causing death by negligence.