Taiji master kills pedestrian while driving under ban and makes student take rap

Tung Eng Hwa was jailed for five months and banned from driving for eight years.
Tung Eng Hwa was jailed for five months and banned from driving for eight years.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A taiji master who killed a pedestrian on the road while driving under a ban told his student to take the blame for the fatal accident along Still Road.

Businessman Tung Eng Hwa, 54, drove his car on Nov 24 , 2014, when he had been banned for 21 months for drink driving five months earlier.

On Tuesday (March 22) Tung, who is also a taiji master, was jailed for five months and banned from driving for eight years after admitting to negligently causing the death of Madam Tan Kim Siew, 74, driving under disqualification, and giving false information to the police.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Clement Yong said Tung decided to drive his Lexus car as he was running late for a taiji class at Lorong M Telok Kurau he was conducting. He had tried for 30 minutes to hail a taxi.

While driving along Still Road at about 8.50pm, he failed to keep a proper lookout for Madam Tan who was crossing the road and hit her.

The impact flung her to the right side of the road and she landed on the centre divider. She died from multiple injuries at Changi General Hospital about an hour later.

Meanwhile, Tung's student, Han Chin Kwang, 55, a tooling engineer and part-time taiji instructor, was teaching at the training venue when Tung asked him to go down to the accident scene.

Fearing he might go to jail, Tung asked Han to take the blame for the accident. Tung told the police officer who arrived at the accident scene that he was the front seat passenger, and that Han was the driver.

Han decided to tell the truth one week later whe nhe gave a further statement to the police on Dec 8. He was fined fined $4,000 last month for lying to the police, and had two other charges considered.

Tung came clean that day, saying he had persuaded Han to give false information to the police.

District Judge Lee Poh Choo agreed with the prosecution that a stiff sentence was warranted. She said because of Tung's own selfish act, he had got his friend into trouble.

"In this case, not only did the accused drive when he should not, he caused a life. It is aggravating upon aggravating factor,'' she said.