Delivery driver jailed for driving after taking sleeping pills, causing fatal accident

A delivery driver, who went for a joyride after popping some sleeping pills and drinking beer, smashed into two motorcyclists, killing one of them along Pan Island Expressway (PIE) just before Eng Neo Avenue exit.

Er Seng Hua, 42, was jailed for nine months by a district court on Monday. He pleaded guilty to driving rashly and not exercising proper control of his lorry. He was also disqualified from driving all vehicles for eight years.

A district court heard that he had bought the sleeping pills illegally as he had trouble sleeping because of depression. He took them on the night of Oct 30, 2011, but instead of going to bed he went to a coffeeshop below his Boon Lay flat to drink beer. He then decided to go for a joyride on his lorry. He landed up in Ang Mo Kio where he rear-ended a car at 9.30pm. Police arrived and found him asleep at the steering wheel. A breathalyser test did not indicate he exceeded the drink-drive level and he assured the cops he had not taken any medicine prior to driving.

He was allowed to go and was heading home along the PIE when he collided into the rear of the two motorcycles. He kept going, dragging both motorcycles and colliding into a signpost before stopping 130 metres away. One of the motorcyclists, Mr Chor Chee Seong, 34, died. His colleague, Mr Albert Elai, 35, a chef, suffered fractures to his ribs, arm, leg and spine. Both men are Malaysians

A blood test revealed Er had taken Midazolam, a drug to induce sleep and to reduce anxiety. It is an ingredient in Dormicum, which is a prescription-only medicine.

At the accident scene, he kept falling asleep and police officers had to tap him to keep him awake.