Lorry driver jailed and banned for causing death

A lorry driver who caused the death of an elderly woman at a pedestrian crossing was yesterday jailed for six weeks and banned from driving for five years.

Indian national Sakthivel Thiruselvam, 30, who pleaded guilty, was making a right turn from Choa Chu Kang North 5 into Choa Chu Kang Street 51 on Oct 16 last year when he failed to give way to Madam Kamariah Mohamed Lani, 71.

The lorry hit her at 11.54am when she was crossing the road with the traffic signal in her favour.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jotham Tay said Sakthivel had stopped his lorry on the rightmost lane of Choa Chu Kang North 5, at the junction with Choa Chu Kang Street 51.

When the traffic light turned green, he began to move forward, towards the right.

Madam Kamariah, who had gone for knee surgery and was using a walking stick, was walking home after seeing a doctor.

Sakthivel saw a few pedestrians crossing the road ahead of Madam Kamariah. He saw that other pedestrians had passed the front of his lorry, but did not check whether Madam Kamariah had successfully walked past his vehicle.

The lorry collided into her when he executed a right turn.

Pleading for leniency, Sakthivel told District Judge Low Wee Ping that he had been working here for nearly a decade, and never had a brush with the law.

He had been driving for four years, and deeply regretted the serious negligent act, he said.

He added that his family was dependent on him, and that his dreams had been shattered because of the serious accident.

Sakthivel could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death by negligence.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2017, with the headline 'Lorry driver jailed and banned for causing death'. Print Edition | Subscribe