Lorry driver jailed and banned for causing motorcyclist's death

Lorry driver Soh Kim Chye was jailed for three weeks and banned from driving all vehicles for 42 months for causing the death of a motorcyclist in March this year.
Lorry driver Soh Kim Chye was jailed for three weeks and banned from driving all vehicles for 42 months for causing the death of a motorcyclist in March this year. PHOTO: ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - A lorry driver forgot to engage the handbrake of his vehicle when parking along a down slope, causing it to roll backwards for 51m and run over a motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist, Mr Mohd Faisal Sariman, 39, died from multiple injuries after he was found pinned under the rear right tyre of the lorry.

On Monday (Oct 26), lorry driver Soh Kim Chye, 53, was jailed for three weeks and banned from driving all vehicles for 42 months.

He pleaded guilty to causing the Malaysian despatch rider's death by negligence along Irrawaddy Road at about 3.50pm on March 17 this year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jasmine Chin-Sabado said that Soh parked the lorry illegally along the slight slope on Irrawaddy Road at Novena, alighted and went into a construction site to check with the foreman if there was space for him to unload his equipment.

After about 10 minutes, he came out of the worksite and found that the lorry had rolled about 51m backwards and crashed into a black car, whose driver, Mr Ling Kok Kiong, 43, had also parked illegally along the road as he needed to use the toilet urgently.

Soh found out that he had forgotten to engage the handbrake. When told that a man was under the lorry's right tyre, he did not dare to look as he was shocked and afraid.

Mr Faisal was freed by civil defence officers, and pronounced dead at about 4.20pm the same day.

DPP Chin-Sabado sought a jail term of two to four weeks and a three-year driving ban. Highlighting aggravating factors, she said Soh was driving a heavy vehicle - a crane lorry - and should have exercised greater care.

He had parked at a double yellow line on a slope at an area with a fairly high human traffic, between a private hospital and a shopping mall.

She also said that he would have been aware of the entailing risks involved and failed to take care in his conduct, which resulted in the rider's death.

Pleading for leniency, Soh, who has two children and has been driving for almost 20 years, said his family was facing difficulties and it was hard for him to find a similar job given his age.

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