Lorry driver jailed for causing death of motorcycle pillion rider

Vengadatchalame Sureche pleaded guilty to one count of committing a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide.
Vengadatchalame Sureche pleaded guilty to one count of committing a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide. PHOTO: ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - A 39-year-old motor lorry driver was sentenced to three months' jail and disqualified from driving for five years for causing the death of a motorcycle pillion rider.

Vengadatchalame Sureche pleaded guilty to one count of committing a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide. Another charge was taken into consideration.

On Jan 15 at about 8am, the Singapore permanent resident was delivering metal plates on his company's silver Toyota motor lorry when he decided to make a U-turn along Woodlands Link.

At that time, motorcyclist Ooi Peng Wei and his girlfriend, Ms Lim Sooi Cheng, both Malaysians, were travelling at about 73kmh along the same road. This was above the speed limit of 50kmh.

Although he noticed Mr Ooi's red and black Yamaha motorcyle about 50 metres away, Vengadatchalame continued with his U-turn, thinking that he still had time to pass safely.

His lorry however collided with the motorcycle, causing both 30-year-old Ooi and his 26-year-old girlfriend, who was riding pillion, to be flung off.

Ms Lim was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene at 9am.

The court heard that at the time of the incident, Vengadatchalame's view was not obstructed, weather conditions were fine and visibility was clear. Traffic flow was also light.

Anyone found guilty of causing death by doing a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide may be jailed for up to two years, fined, or both.