Lorry driver who knocked cyclist down in fatal accident did not keep proper lookout


Thanabal Balachandar pleaded guilty to causing the man's death by negligent driving on Aug 31 last year.
Thanabal Balachandar pleaded guilty to causing the man's death by negligent driving on Aug 31 last year.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A lorry driver who was driving out of a work site in a junior college did not stop at the school gate nor did he look out for pedestrians.

Although he was not going very fast, Thanabal Balachandar, 25, knocked down Mr Zhu Jinfu, 54, who was riding a power-assisted bicycle on a pedestrian pathway outside the school's main entrance.

The victim was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was done on him. He later died from his injuries.

Thanabal, an Indian national, pleaded guilty on Thursday (Aug 3) to causing the man's death by negligent driving on Aug 31 last year (2016).

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

The court heard that on the day of the accident, Thanabal was working at a site in Yishun Junior College. At about 10am, he was driving out of the school as he wanted to collect more construction materials. Despite a sign outside the gate reminding motorists to look out for pedestrians, Thanabal failed to stop or keep a proper lookout.

The weather that day was clear, visibility was good and there were no other vehicles around at the time, the court heard.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En said: "Although Thanabal's view was partially blocked by the bushes at the main entrance of Yishun JC, there was a stop line with a warning sign that he failed to stop at."

Mr Zhu was taken to hospital, but his pulse gradually got weaker and he died from cardio-respiratory failure and multiple injuries at 6.10pm.

The autopsy report found that he had multiple rib fractures, injuries to his head and bruises on his limbs.

Thanabal, who is represented by lawyer T. U. Naidu, is out on $5,000 bail.

He will be back in court on Aug 18 for sentencing. For causing death by negligent driving, he can be jailed for up to two years and fined.