Cabby jailed for crash that caused man to lose his legs

A 37-year-old taxi driver who crashed his vehicle into a 28-year-old man, causing him to lose both his legs, was yesterday jailed for one week and disqualified from driving for two years.

Malik Samat pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grievous hurt with a negligent act that endangered human life.

He also admitted to a count of hurting a passenger, who was in his taxi at the time of the accident.

A district court heard that at about 11pm on Nov 17 last year, Mr Ng Xin Yun, 28, had alighted from his lorry, which had broken down. He wanted to place a breakdown sign behind his vehicle.

This was on the third lane of the Pan-Island Expressway, in the direction of Tuas, near the Eng Neo Avenue exit.

Malik was in his taxi in the same lane of the five-lane expressway. About five to six car lengths from the lorry, he saw the vehicle but thought that it was moving slowly.

He was checking his adjacent lanes in preparation for overtaking the lorry, when his passenger, Mr Chen Chee Wei, 50, shouted at him to alert him that the lorry was stationary and that there was someone behind it.

Mr Ng was returning to his lorry, which had its rear lights on, after setting up the breakdown sign. But Malikstepped on the accelerator instead of the brake and hit Mr Ng.

Both of the victim's legs were severely crushed and had to be amputated. He also developed complications from his injuries, such as severe blood poisoning, kidney injury and wound infections above both knee amputation stumps.

He was discharged after two months in hospital and given three months of medical leave.

Mr Chen received outpatient treatment and was discharged with three days of medical leave. He had a swollen right arm and suffered a knock to the head. He also reported pain on the right side of his face and body.

For causing grievous hurt with an act so negligent as to endanger human life, Malik could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2015, with the headline 'Cabby jailed for crash that caused man to lose his legs'. Print Edition | Subscribe