Fatal crash: Jail for man who ran red lights 5 times previously

He had already been caught running red lights five times between 2002 and last year - the offences were later compounded. This year, a failure to keep a proper lookout led to 69-year-old van driver Ho Koon Eng causing an accident that cost a 53-year-old woman her life.

Yesterday, he was given six weeks' jail and disqualified from driving for five years for driving negligently.

Ho had been driving along Jalan Sultan towards InterContinental Hotel at about 11.50pm on Jan 18 with his wife seated next to him. They were on their way to pick up hotel workers and take them home.

When Ho reached the traffic junction at Jalan Sultan and Victoria Street, he started to turn right.

The traffic light was green and he stopped in the middle of the junction to give way to oncoming vehicles. He then continued to make the right turn when there were no more oncoming vehicles, the court heard.

Ms Duan Xianyi was crossing the road at the time, while the green man was blinking.

As Ho was turning into the extreme right lane of the three-lane Victoria Street, he failed to keep a proper lookout and the front of his van hit her, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao.

Ms Duan was dragged by the van for some time before Ho stopped the vehicle. DPP Lee said: "As he was shocked by the impact, the accused applied his brakes only after the collision. The van stopped after dragging her for about 14m from the pedestrian crossing. She was found lying under the van, near the rear right tyre, and was pronounced dead at the scene."

The court heard that at the time of the accident, the weather was clear, the road surface was dry, visibility was fair and traffic was light.

Ms Duan's autopsy report found that she died from blunt force chest injuries, consistent with those sustained by traffic accident victims.

DPP Lee urged the court to sentence Ho to six weeks' jail and disqualify him from driving for five years, pointing to his past offences.

Ho also had ample time to see Ms Duan as she had crossed two lanes before the van hit her, DPP Lee said. Ho, who did not have a lawyer, pleaded for leniency and said he was very sorry. For causing a fatal accident by negligent driving, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2017, with the headline 'Fatal crash: Jail for man who ran red lights 5 times previously'. Print Edition | Subscribe