Ex-cabby jailed, fined for fatal hit-and-run accident, removing evidence

 Then Nien Fatt was jailed for five months, fined $1,000 and banned from driving for three years.
Then Nien Fatt was jailed for five months, fined $1,000 and banned from driving for three years.ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A taxi driver failed to stop and render help after he fatally hit a motorcyclist on the expressway. The cabby even tried to cover up the accident.

On Thursday (Sept 14), Then Nien Fatt was jailed for five months, fined $1,000 and banned from driving for three years by District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan.

Then, 62, who now works as a cleaner, admitted to four charges - driving without due care and attention; failing to stop after an accident; failing to render assistance; and perverting the course of justice.

A fifth charge of removing his vehicle without police authority was taken into consideration during sentencing.

On Aug 11, 2015, Malaysian motorcyclist Tan Ser Chuan, 57, fell when his machine skidded on the Ayer Rajah Expressway after the Alexandra Road exit, in an attempt to avoid a bouncing tyre.

The court heard that Then, who was ferrying a passenger at the time, saw Mr Tan only when he was two to three car lengths away.

He was unable to come to a complete stop in time and swerved his vehicle, running over Mr Tan on the road.

The impact caused Mr Tan to land about 10m away from his motorcycle.

Mr Tan, who suffered severe head injuries and had cuts on his back and arms, was pronounced dead at the scene at 6.20am.

A witness, motorcyclist Zahid Samad, told police that he was riding in the centre lane of the expressway, towards the Marina Coastal Expressway, when he noticed the tyre lying on the extreme left lane and Mr Tan lying on the extreme right lane near his motorcycle.

He rode ahead and intended to stop to help Mr Tan.

Then was driving at 70kmh to 80kmh without due care and attention along the same stretch of the expressway when his taxi collided into Mr Tan.

Mr Zahid heard a crashing sound behind him and saw Then's CityCab taxi speed past him.

Suspecting that the cabby had crashed into Mr Tan, Mr Zahid sounded the horn to get the driver to stop, but Then did not.

After Then dropped his passenger off, he checked his vehicle and found that the front mudguard was missing. There was also a slight dent on the front portion on top of the right tyre.

He paid $180 to have the dents removed and the right fender and bumper of the taxi sprayed at a workshop in Eunos Avenue 4.

Said Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim: "Despite knowing that he had collided into and run over the deceased, the accused did not stop to check or render any assistance. Instead, the accused continued driving away from the scene to send his passenger to her destination."

DPP Lim said a considerable amount of resources was spent by the Traffic Police to track down Then's taxi.

A piece of the front right wheel mudguard was recovered at the accident scene. Then's taxi was subsequently recovered from a carpark near Then's home in Buangkok Crescent.

Then was previously fined three times for speeding.