Truck driver jailed and banned from driving over fatal accident along ECP

A truck driver who dozed off and ploughed into a man directing traffic along an expressway was jailed for four weeks on Wednesday for negligently causing the man's death. -- ST GRAPHIC
A truck driver who dozed off and ploughed into a man directing traffic along an expressway was jailed for four weeks on Wednesday for negligently causing the man's death. -- ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - A truck driver who dozed off and ploughed into a man directing traffic along an expressway was jailed for four weeks on Wednesday for negligently causing the man's death.

Ramiah Karuppiah, 36, an Indian national, was also banned from driving for five years over the fatal accident along East Coast Parkway (ECP) on June 13 last year.

He pleaded guilty to failing to exercise proper control over his tipper truck at about 2am that day, causing it to veer to the left into the second lane of ECP and hit Mr Allan Galimba Galvez, 44, resulting in the Filipino's death.

A district court heard that the first and second lanes of the ECP near the Tanjong Rhu Flyover were closed for road works.

Mr Galvez, a supervisor, was standing on the second lane while his colleague was on the extreme left. Both were diverting traffic, holding a "lighted wand'' and wearing reflective vests and safety helmets.

When Ramiah saw the cones and directional arrow sign to filter into the third and fourth lane, he filtered into the third lane while travelling at speed.

When approaching the road works, he dozed off and fell asleep at the wheel. This resulted in the vehicle veering to the left into the second lane. He knocked down a traffic cone and continued bearing down the road, finally hitting Mr Galvez. On hearing the "thud'' sound, he woke up and stopped the vehicle, which in the meantime, knocked down several more traffic cones.

Mr Galvez died from multiple injuries.

The court heard that Ramiah had made seven round trips from a Tanah Merah worksite to Jurong Port Road, working since 2am the previous day when the accident happened on his final trip.

The vehicle's speedometer was also not working. Investigation showed that Ramiah had noticed that the vehicle's speedometer and speed limiter were faulty when he first started to drive it three months before the accident. He had informed his employer who told him to drive with the faulty speedometer.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death by doing a negligent act.

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