Lorry driver jailed and banned from driving for causing cyclist's death

Lorry driver Tan Kian Huat, 69, admitted to causing the death of an elderly cyclist by failing to keep a proper lookout.
Lorry driver Tan Kian Huat, 69, admitted to causing the death of an elderly cyclist by failing to keep a proper lookout.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A lorry driver, who failed to notice an elderly man cycling across the road while making a right turn at a signalised T-junction, was jailed for four weeks' and banned from driving for five years on Wednesday (March 30) .

Tan Kian Huat, 69, admitted to causing the death of Mr Mohd Amin Abdullah, 88, by failing to keep a proper lookout along Lorong 6 Toa Payoh on Feb 14 last year.

He was making a right turn into Lorong 6 when the rented 14-footer vehicle he was driving struck Mr Amin at the pedestrian crossing. Mr Amin suffered severe head injuries and died about four hours later in hospital.

Investigation showed that, at the time of the accident, the traffic light was green for Tan, and the green man was lit for pedestrians along the signalised pedestrian crossing.

Tan's lawyer Alice Tan Chor Hoon, assigned by the Criminal Aid Legal Scheme, said in mitigation that Tan had checked his mirrors and blind spots for vehicles and pedestrians.

"Unfortunately, this has proved insufficient, and in a momentary lapse of concentration arising from human frailty, a life was lost," she said.

Ms Tan said her client, who is remorseful, was very disturbed when he heard about the sad news, which kept him awake at night.

She said he had been a lorry driver for his whole life. He is the sole breadwinner and lives with his wife, divorced daughter and two young grandchildren.

District Judge Low Wee Ping said with the benefit of hindsight, the court wondered whether Tan should be driving such a huge vehicle at his age.

Tan, who has several unrelated convictions, could have been jailed for up to two years and fined for causing death by doing a negligent act.