Lorry driver gets 7 weeks' jail for negligent driving that caused passenger's death

The scene of the accident, after the delivery truck crashed into a stationary prime mover that was carrying a boat, on April 28, 2015.
The scene of the accident, after the delivery truck crashed into a stationary prime mover that was carrying a boat, on April 28, 2015. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - The driver of a delivery lorry saw a prime mover, with a boat attached, ahead of him on the road. But, not realising the vehicle was stationary, he continued at the same speed crashed into it, causing the death of his passenger.

Ali Salim, 52, was sentenced to seven weeks' jail on Wednesday (May 18) for one charge of causing death by negligence. He was also disqualified from driving for four years.

On April 28 last year, Ali was driving a lorry on the left-most lane of Changi Coast Road towards Nicoll Drive at about noon. It was a clear day, the road was dry, and traffic was light.

Ali saw a prime mover, with a boat attached, about 100m ahead. He continued driving at a speed of 60kmh on the same lane.

When the lorry was about two car lengths away from the mover, he noticed - too late - that the mover's hazard lights were on and that it was was stationary.

He hit the rear of the mover, smashing the windscreen and trapping delivery attendant Mohammed Ridwan Osman, 32, in the front passenger seat.

Mr Ridwan's left leg was severed in the collision and he died shortly after.

In mitigation, Ali's lawyer Kea Cheng Han said that Ali was driving under the speed limit and had not seen the mover's hazard lights as the sun was bright. The mover's driver also did not set up any triangular warning signs on the road.

He added that Ali had treated Mr Ridwan "like a son" and was guilt-stricken by his death.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ryan Lim said the accident could have been wholly avoidable had Ali not been seriously negligent. He also noted Ali's previous driving-related offences, including driving with a fake licence despite being disqualified.

For his offence, Ali could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.