Truck driver jailed and banned for hitting elderly cyclist who had to undergo below-knee amputation

Indian national Chinnasamy Pazhanisamy was jailed for two weeks and banned from driving for five years on Friday (Dec 23).
Indian national Chinnasamy Pazhanisamy was jailed for two weeks and banned from driving for five years on Friday (Dec 23). PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A truck driver failed to keep a proper lookout when changing lanes and hit a cyclist, Mr Summugam Krishnamuthy.

The accident resulted in Mr Summugam, a 70-year-old security officer, needing a below-knee amputation to his right leg.

The truck driver, Indian national Chinnasamy Pazhanisamy, 40, was jailed for two weeks and banned from driving for five years on Friday (Dec 23) after pleading guilty to causing grievous hurt.

The court heard the accident happened after Chinnasamy drove his truck out of its parking spot along the two-lane Tuas Avenue 10 on April 19, 2016.

While changing lanes, he failed to see Mr Summugam on the left side, and hit him.

He realised he had hit the cyclist only when he heard a sound coming from the front-left side of his truck.

The victim fell from his bicycle and the truck's left wheel pinned his right foot. Passers-by shouted at Chinnasamy to stop and reverse the truck to free the victim, and he did so immediately.

Mr Summugam's leg was bleeding profusely. He was taken to the National University Hospital with serious leg injuries including fractures.

Although he had multiple limb salvage operations, doctors had to amputate Mr Summugam's right leg below his knee on May 13.

He spent about a month at St Luke's Hospital for rehabilitation and wound care.

Chinnasamy pleaded for leniency.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lester Ho asked for a sentence of between one and two weeks' jail plus three to five years' disqualification. He said Chinnasamy was driving a heavy vehicle and the victim's injuries were serious.

District Judge Low Wee Ping told Chinnasamy that he should be grateful that the accident was not fatal. He said it must be a miracle that the victim survived.

Chinnasamy could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing grievous hurt by doing an act so negligently as to endanger life.