Maximum $10k fine, 5-year ban for causing pedestrian's death

David Joseph John failed to keep a proper lookout on Nov 13, 2015, and his van hit Mr Wong Fook Hin, who died of multiple injuries 10 days later.
David Joseph John failed to keep a proper lookout on Nov 13, 2015, and his van hit Mr Wong Fook Hin, who died of multiple injuries 10 days later.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

A market stallholder who failed to keep a proper lookout for a pedestrian was given the maximum fine of $10,000 yesterday for causing death.

David Joseph John, 62, was also banned from driving for five years for negligently causing the death of Mr Wong Fook Hin, 79, who died of multiple injuries 10 days later.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Delicia Tan told the court that John was driving his van along the fourth lane of the five-lane Outram Road, towards Cantonment Road, at 7.14pm on Nov 13, 2015.

As he approached the corner with Back Alley Road, a side road, he turned to his right to look for vehicles coming out of the side road.

He failed to keep a proper lookout ahead and did not see Mr Wong crossing the road. He did not slow down to give way and the van struck Mr Wong.

An eyewitness, who was in his car waiting for a parking space, saw the van pass him and hit Mr Wong.

After the collision, the van and Mr Wong both moved forward for some distance before coming to a stop.

Mr Wong was taken to Singapore General Hospital, where he died on Nov 23.

In mitigation, John's lawyer Jason Lim said Mr Wong had been jaywalking at a pedestrian no-crossing zone. There was a traffic light-controlled crossing barely 20m away.

Mr Lim said there was no aggravating factor in this situation and a jail sentence was not appropriate.

District Judge Ong Chin Rhu said John was clearly negligent in failing to notice Mr Wong, who had made his way across three lanes of the road.

Although she agreed that Mr Wong had been jaywalking, she would not say he was mainly responsible for the accident.

A second charge of causing grievous hurt to a nine-year-old cyclist in Jalan Bukit Merah on Oct 23, 2015 was taken into consideration during sentencing.

The prosecution is considering an appeal.

John could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death through his negligence.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 28, 2017, with the headline 'Maximum $10k fine, 5-year ban for causing pedestrian's death'. Print Edition | Subscribe