Multi-national company boss fined $1k for road accident that killed hotelier Sonnie Lien

SINGAPORE - The general manager of a multi-national corporation who caused the death of ex-hotelier Sonnie Lien in a 2013 road accident was given the maximum $1,000 fine on Thursday for driving without due care and attention.

Michael Teo Wee Hian, 65, was also banned from driving for six months.

He was convicted of failing to keep a proper lookout while driving along Ulu Pandan Road and hitting Mr Lien, 78, on Nov 11, 2013.

Mr Lien was one of the sons of late tycoon and philanthropist Lien Ying Chow, who founded Overseas Union Bank - Singapore's fourth largest bank until it was acquired by United Overseas Bank in 2001.

Mr Sonnie Lien had retired more than a decade earlier and was general manager of the Mandarin Singapore for 15 years.

The court heard that Teo was driving on the rightmost lane along Ulu Pandan Road towards Holland Road when he saw Mr Lien standing a short distance from the leftmost kerb.

He looked away from Mr Lien and concentrated on his own lane as he planned to turn right into Holland Grove Road.

But he did not notice that Mr Lien had started crossing the road and could not stop in time.

Mr Lien died about an hour later from multiple injuries.

Teo's lawyer Foo Cheow Ming said his client had an unblemished driving record for the past 30 years and was driving at about 50kmh, within the speed limit, at the time.

His client had seen the pedestrian and thought to himself that he would not cross the road, he said. He told the court that everything happened in the blink of an eye.

The maximum for the offence is a $1,000 fine or six months' jail.