M-cyclist crushed by lorry: Driver jailed

Soh Kim Chye was jailed three weeks and given a 42-month driving ban over the accident (left) in March.
Soh Kim Chye was jailed three weeks and given a 42-month driving ban over the accident (above) in March.ST FILE PHOTO
Soh Kim Chye was jailed three weeks and given a 42-month driving ban over the accident (left) in March.
Soh Kim Chye (above) was jailed three weeks and given a 42-month driving ban over the accident in March.ST FILE PHOTO

A lorry driver forgot to engage the handbrake of his vehicle when parking on a slope, causing it to roll backwards for 51m, hitting a motorcyclist and a parked car.

Malaysian courier Mohd Faisal Sariman was pinned under the front right wheel of the lorry and pronounced dead at the scene in Irrawaddy Road on March 17 this year.

Yesterday, Soh Kim Chye, 53, was jailed for three weeks and banned from driving all vehicles for 42 months after pleading guilty to causing the 35-year-old man's death through his negligence.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jasmine Chin-Sabado said Soh parked the lorry illegally on a slope in Irrawaddy Road and went to a construction site to ask the foreman if there was space for him to unload equipment.

After about 10 minutes, he returned to find that the lorry had rolled backwards and crashed into a black car, whose driver, Mr Ling Kok Kiong, 43, had also parked illegally as he needed to use the toilet.

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

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 parked on a double yellow line on a slope in an area with fairly high pedestrian traffic between a private hospital and a mall. She said he would have been aware of the risks involved and failed to take care in his conduct, resulting in the rider's death.

Soh, who has two children and has been driving for almost 20 years, said his licence had been suspended and he could not make a living.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2015, with the headline 'M-cyclist crushed by lorry: Driver jailed'. Print Edition | Subscribe