Man gets jail and 5-year driving ban for causing death of passenger

Khairullah initially failed the breathalyser test but passed a second test at Traffic Police Department.
Khairullah initially failed the breathalyser test but passed a second test at Traffic Police Department.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A motorist who had been drinking was jailed for eight months and banned from driving for five years on Wednesday for causing the death of a friend who was in the back seat of his car.

Muhammad Khairullah Abdul Latif, 25, was also fined $600 for failing to ensure that his rear seat passenger, Madam Ratu Wahedah Banakhani Hamzah Khan, 41, was wearing a seat belt. The housewife was flung out of Khairullah's Toyota through the rear windscreen that detached due to the impact.

Khairullah admitted to causing the death as well as the seat belt offence.

The court heard that the two, who were friends, met Mr Supri Sapari, 45, at a coffeeshop in Clementi around midnight on Aug 2. Mr Supri was there drinking beer then.

The trio then proceeded to a pub at Beauty World Centre where they shared six cans of beer before heading to another pub in Orchard Road. They left the place at about 2.30am.

Mr Supri, who took the front passenger seat, fastened his seatbelt and fell asleep almost immediately.

Khairullah was driving along the AYE at 100-110kmh at about 3.30am when he saw a puddle of water and filtered right without checking the rear view mirror and encroached into the path of another car. He then swerved to try to avoid that car, lost control of his vehicle which hit a guard rail. Madam Khan, who was seated behind, was flung out of the car and was found in a small drain a short distance away from the road shoulder. She was pronounced dead at 4.45am by a paramedic.

Another charge of injuring the front seat passenger, Mr Supri by acting so rashly as to endanger life was taken into consideration.

Khairullah initially failed the breathalyser test but passed a second test at Traffic Police Department. He could have been jailed for up to five years and/or fined for causing death by doing a rash act.