Family forgives teacher for fatal traffic accident

A school teacher who hit an elderly pedestrian as she was changing lanes was fined $4,000 and banned from driving for two years yesterday for causing death by negligence.

In a rare move, the prosecution told the court that the 83-year-old woman's family recognised it was an accident and had forgiven Siti Ainah Maduri.

It asked the court to be lenient to the 25-year-old, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao, who spoke on behalf of a family member.

Siti Ainah admitted to failing to keep a proper lookout while moving from the centre to the right of the three-lane Bukit Batok East Avenue 6 at about 3.40pm on April 27 last year. This resulted in her hitting Madam Chan Poh Quan, who was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The court heard Siti Ainah was intending to turn right at the cross junction and two-thirds of her car was in the turning lane before she saw Madam Chan crossing the road in front of her.

Siti Ainah applied the brakes but could not stop in time and hit Madam Chan.

Her lawyer Peter Ong said his client was deeply sorry for having caused Madam Chan's death, and was traumatised after the accident.

He said she had been a careful driver with a clean record.

Mr Ong said he was grateful the prosecution was not pressing for a custodial sentence.

District Judge John Ng said the family recognised Madam Chan had crossed within 50m of the traffic junction and put herself at risk.

"It is clear that if you had paid slightly closer attention, you might have seen Madam Chan earlier, and therefore, you might have avoided this fatal consequence," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2016, with the headline 'Family forgives teacher for fatal traffic accident'. Print Edition | Subscribe