Man who caused massive PIE jam jailed for 10 weeks for causing grievous hurt to two

SINGAPORE - A tipper truck driver who caused collisions involving 12 other vehicles along the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) was jailed for 10 weeks on Thursday for causing grievous hurt to a lorry driver and his passenger.

Malaysian Mohammad Shafiq Mohmad Saidi, 21, was prohibited from driving on Singapore roads for 24 months after he admitted to causing grievous hurt to lorry driver Lim Meow Hong, 62, and his front seat passenger, Mr Ujjal Late Khaybar, 33, last Aug 27.

The court heard that Shafiq had driven the eight-wheeled tipper truck from Johor Baru to deliver sand to a worksite in Fort Road that day when he was caught in a congestion along PIE that evening.

Despite the lines of vehicles ahead and to his right, he failed to pay due attention.

The lorry to his right had come to a stop but still Shafiq swerved the truck to its right in between lane three and the middle lane, grazing against a van and a car. The truck then hit the rear right of the lorry, causing it to veer out of control and crashing into the expressway's guard rails.

After this collision, the truck continued surging forward, crashing into the back of Mr Lim's stationary lorry. The lorry in turn hit the back of a tipper truck.

The truck still did not come to a stop but instead veered towards its right and rammed into two cars and a lorry. This led a chain collision with other vehicles.

The truck continued veering to its right into the rightmost lane, where it hit the left side of a car before coming to a halt some distance ahead.

Civil defence officers had to use hydraulic spreader cutters to extricate Mr Lim, who was trapped in the lorry which was badly crushed. He was taken to hospital along with his front seat passenger and two others. A child was also injured.

The accident caused massive traffic congestion along other expressways which took out three hours to clear up.

Pressing for a jail term, Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok highlighted aggravating factors. He said Shafiq was driving a heavy vehicle; there was no plausible reason for the failure to pay due attention; the inconvenience, heavy traffic congestion and the immense amount of damage caused. He also said it was extremely fortuitous that no life was lost in the accident as it could easily have been the case.

A second charge of causing hurt to a car passenger and lorry passenger was considered during Shafiq's sentencing.

elena@sph.com.sg