SINGAPORE - A Malaysian drink driver was jailed for 1½ years and disqualified from driving here for 10 years after pleading guilty on Friday (June 16) to committing a rash act, resulting in the death of an on-duty Certis Cisco auxiliary police officer.
Manuel Ang Boon Jiat, 29, worked as a full-time salesman in Singapore when he committed the offence at around 2.30am on Feb 10. He left work at 6pm the day before to attend a company event an hour later.
By the time the merrymaking ended at around 2am on Feb 10, Ang, who lives in Johor Baru, had consumed at least 12 glasses of beer.
Despite this, he decided to drive back to Malaysia as he wanted to reach home as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the Certis Cisco officer Lance Corporal Norman Samri, 33, and two of his colleagues were diverting vehicles at the Tuas Checkpoint Departure Viaduct as a minor accident had taken place there at around 1am.
All three were wearing bright yellow reflective vests with blinker lights placed on their shoulders.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Krystle Chiang said: "(This accident) damaged the barricades separating the lanes for motorcycles and motor cars as well as caused debris to be strewn on the lanes of the road. The viaduct is a one-way traffic road with three lanes.
"As a result of this minor accident, traffic could only pass through the rightmost lane... The viaduct was partially closed to facilitate the clearing of debris."
At around 2.25am, a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) fire and rescue response vehicle arrived at the scene to assist in clearing up the debris. It had bright blinker lights both in front and at the back.
Lance Cpl Norman was standing behind this SCDF vehicle on the centre lane when Ang drove towards them from the Ayer Rajah Expressway.
DPP Chiang told District Judge Kenneth Yap: "According to the accused, he saw the bright lights emitting from the rear of the SCDF vehicle when he was about five to six car lengths away. The accused did not brake but continued speeding on the centre lane."
Lance Cpl Norman and his colleagues tried to get Ang to stop, but it was too late.
The car hit the Certis Cisco officer and he was flung upwards before landing near a concrete barrier on the extreme right lane.
The court heard, Ang was driving at an estimated average speed of 102kmh when he swerved and hit Lance Cpl Norman. This was more than double the prescribed speed limit along that stretch of road.
The other two Certis Cisco officers managed to jump out of the way and narrowly avoided being hit as well.
Ang did not immediately stop his car after it hit Lance Cpl Norman. Instead, he continued driving and jammed the brakes only about 63m away, in front of the SCDF vehicle.
An ambulance rushed Lance Cpl Norman to the National University Hospital, but he died about an hour later of multiple injuries.
A traffic police officer who conducted a breathanalyser test on Ang found that he had 66 microgrammes of alcohol in every 100ml of breath. This was almost double the prescribed limit of 35 microgrammes.
Ang addressed the court directly from the dock, expressing his remorse. He asked Judge Yap to impose a lifetime driving ban on him.
Before handing out the sentence, the judge said this case involved a "double whammy" of drink driving and speeding. He added that a strong message must be sent out to deter others from committing a similar offence.
For committing the rash act, Ang could have been jailed for up to five years and fined.