Garbage truck driver jailed and banned for causing multiple injuries to motorcyclist

SINGAPORE - A garbage truck driver failed to give way to an oncoming motorcyclist while making a right turn out, causing multiple injuries to the rider who had the right of way, a court heard.

For this, Indian national Arumugam Ayyapan, 40, was jailed for two weeks and banned from driving for two years on Thursday (Oct 12). He had admitted to causing grievous hurt to Mr Mohamed Ashik Othuman Ghani, 43, along Shipyard Road on March 14, 2016.

Arumugam was making a right turn out from Shipyard Road into Jalan Samulun when his truck hit the safety officer's motorbike.

In seeking a sentence of at least two weeks' jail and at least two years' disqualifications, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tan Si En cited aggravating factors such as the serious injuries caused and that a heavy vehicle was involved.

She said the victim suffered a plethora of injuries - facial, spinal, wrist and bilateral rib fractures. He also suffered cognitive and neurological deficits as a result of his traumatic brain injury, which are likely to be permanent.

In all, he was warded for 4½ months, and was given an additional two months and 12 days of hospitalisation leave.

DPP Tan said there was nothing obstructing Arumugam's view of the victim while he was travelling straight along Shipyard Road towards Tanjong Kling Road.

Arumugam signalled right, intending to make a right turn into Jalan Samulun.

As he and the victim approached the junction, an SBS Transit double-decker bus made a right turn from Jalan Samulun to Shipyard Road. Arumugam slowed down as the bus made the turn, but did not come to a complete stop.

Instead, he drove the truck into Jalan Samulun, without confirming if the way was clear.

The victim, whose view of the truck was blocked by the bus turning into Shipyard Road, continued riding straight as Arumugam was turning into Jalan Samulun.

The truck collided into the motorcycle, rendering the victim unconscious.

Mr Mohamed Ashik was conveyed to National University Hospital where he underwent multiple surgeries for his brain injuries, facial and wrist fractures.

He was transferred to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on April 29 and remained there for three months.

The victim, who cannot work now, is still continuing his follow-up in rehabilitation with SGH and other specialists.

Arumugam, represented by Mr A. Revi Shanker, pleaded for compassion and mercy, saying he had been working here for 18 years, the past 14 years as a driver. The married father of two said his family is dependent on his income.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing grievous hurt by doing a negligent act to endanger life.