Bus driver jailed two months and banned from driving for causing death of nurse

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

SINGAPORE - A bus driver who ran over and killed a nurse outside Punggol bus interchange was jailed for two months on Monday.

Malaysian national Muhammad Firdaus Norahim, 30, was also disqualified from driving for five years.

He was driving an off-service SBS Transit bus out of Punggol Bus Interchange at around 6.43am on May 15 when he collided with Ms Lucinia Wong Hang Yee, who was crossing Punggol Place Road.

He was determined to have caused her death by failing to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians, and pleaded guilty to the charge on Monday morning.

Footage retrieved from another SBS bus nearby revealed that the traffic lights had turned green for the pedestrian and the driver at the same time. The pedestrian then walked from the left side of Punggol Place Road across the designated pedestrian crossing at a normal pace.

Simultaneously, the driver turned right onto the road and did not slow down as he approached the crossing. After colliding with the pedestrian, the deceased was dragged for a short distance underneath the bus carriage before the bus came to a halt.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Koh Huimin noted that the crossing at which the incident took place is a signalised pedestrian crossing, and the pedestrian has absolute right of way.

Furthermore, she said 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 that of a negligent act.

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 jailed for up to two years and fined.

rkurohi@sph.com.sg