Driver admits causing deaths of four along CTE by dangerous driving

Mr Amron's wrecked Toyota Wish after Toh's multi-purpose vehicle ploughed into it. -- PHOTO: SHIN MIN
Mr Amron's wrecked Toyota Wish after Toh's multi-purpose vehicle ploughed into it. -- PHOTO: SHIN MIN
Trainee pilot Amron Ayoub, 23, and his South Korean girlfriend Song Jisoo were among those killed in the crash. -- PHOTO: FACEBOOK 
Trainee pilot Amron Ayoub, 23, and his South Korean girlfriend Song Jisoo were among those killed in the crash. -- PHOTO: FACEBOOK 
A driver who crashed his multi-purpose vehicle into four people along the Central Expressway (CTE) two years ago admitted to causing their deaths on Tuesday. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
A driver who crashed his multi-purpose vehicle into four people along the Central Expressway (CTE) two years ago admitted to causing their deaths on Tuesday. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A driver who crashed his multi-purpose vehicle into four people along the Central Expressway (CTE) two years ago admitted to causing their deaths on Tuesday.

Toh Cheng Yang, 36, also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of drugs - his blood samples were found to contain a prescription drug, nitrazepam, which he had taken before the accident.

The four victims - trainee pilot Amron Ayoub, 23, his South Korean girlfriend Song Jisoo, 24, and her parents Mr Song Jungwoo, 55, and Madam Kim Mee-Kyung, 53 - had gotten out of Mr Amron's Toyota Wish, which had a punctured tyre in the early morning on Aug 9, 2013.

They were standing behind the car when Toh, then a logistics operations director, ploughed into them.

A district court heard that Mr Amron was driving the Korean family, including his girlfriend's elder brother Song Seounghwan, 30, at 3.54am along CTE towards Changi Airport when the rear right wheel of the vehicle went flat.

He stopped on the chevrons before the Yio Chu Kang Road exit, where all alighted and the four deceased went to the back of the vehicle to retrieve the breakdown sign and tools for changing the punctured tyre.

The younger Mr Song, a professional golfer, remained at the right rear passenger door to help jack up the vehicle.

Meanwhile, interior designer Jumardi Mudah, 40, was driving along the CTE when he noticed Toh's MPV behind him, swaying between the second and the centre lanes.

Toh, who was on his way home after drinks at a pub, soon overtook Mr Jumardi's car while travelling at a speed above the limit of 90kmh.

Toh continued travelling in an erratic manner, swaying between lanes. Mr Jumardi decided to follow him, and caught up with him after Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.

Toh and Mr Jumardi were driving on the extreme left and right of the CTE respectively, and the latter estimated that Toh was driving at 110kmh.

The court heard Toh nearly collided into a van on the second lane before the crash.

He failed to brake when he drove into the rear of the Toyota Wish, crushing all four deceased between the two vehicles. The impact also caused the Toyota Wish to surge rightward into an adjoining lane.

Ms Song and her parents were pronounced dead on the spot, while Mr Amron died at 5am in hospital.

Toh, who was taken to hospital, was reeking of alcohol and abusive to the hospital staff. His blood samples were found to contain nitrazepam, which rendered him unfit to drive, and contributed to the erratic and hazardous manner of his driving.

Investigations found that Toh had consumed a significant quantity of nitrazepam without any valid prescription.

The case was adjourned to May 29 for further submissions.

elena@sph.com.sg