Driver jailed a week for injuring man with forklift

A driver who reversed into a lorry driver standing nearby and left him seriously injured was jailed for a week yesterday.
A driver who reversed into a lorry driver standing nearby and left him seriously injured was jailed for a week yesterday.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

He did not have training, licence to drive the vehicle and hit victim twice

A DRIVER who reversed into a lorry driver standing nearby and left him seriously injured was jailed for a week yesterday.

Theenatayalan Ahumoolam, 27, hit the wrong gear by mistake and pinned Mr Leonard Yeo Tze Chiang, 34, against a concrete pillar. The Malaysian hit him again when he drove the forklift forward and reversed a second time in the accident at the Amtech Building in Sin Ming Road on May 29 last year.

Mr Yeo suffered a broken pelvic bone and underwent an emergency operation at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He spent more than two months in hospital and had further surgery.

He also needed to see trauma surgeons, urologists, orthopaedic surgeons and a psychiatrist. He now has a tube that drains urine, and has spent more than $46,000 in medical bills.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Choong told the court that both men were acquainted as they worked for different companies in the same building.

The court also heard that Theenatayalan, whose job scope was to oversee deliveries for an investment firm, does not have the requisite training or licence to drive a forklift.

Investigations showed he had been clearing wooden pallets and chatting with Mr Yeo moments before the accident. After he moved the forklift away from Mr Yeo, he went to help him.

Theenatayalan said in mitigation that he was remorseful and asked for forgiveness. He also admitted he had been negligent but did not mean to hurt anyone.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing grievous hurt through negligence.

elena@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2015, with the headline 'Driver jailed a week for injuring man with forklift'. Print Edition | Subscribe