Private ambulance driver, who was on drugs and caused death of patient, jailed and caned

A 39-year-old private ambulance driver who lied about having a driver's license to get the job, was on Wednesday sentenced to 34 months in jail and disqualified from driving for nine years over an accident that resulted in the death of a passenger.

Jayakrishnan Bomee Nathan was also handed seven years and six strokes of the cane for an unrelated drug offence, for a total jail term of 9 1/2 years.

Speeding, he had lost control of an ambulance operated by Abella Agency while bringing Madam Irene Sar, 66, to a routine kidney dialysis session on Nov 20 last year. The vehicle, failing to properly negotiate a bend along Clementi Road , mounted a guard railing and went headfirst into a ditch within the road's centre divider.

Madam Sar, who was seated at the back of the vehicle in a wheelchair secured to the floor, suffered numerous injuries including rib fractures, a lacerated spleen and internal bleeding. She died two days later in hospital. Her 74-year-old husband, who was seated in the front of the ambulance, suffered chest pain and bleeding from the mouth, while a 31-year-old nurse in the back, a deep cut on the leg.

On Wednesday, Jayakrishnan pleaded guilty to rashly causing Madam Sar's death, and hurt to the two other passengers in the ambulance. He also admitted to driving without a licence and failing to make a police report after the accident, and consuming Ice. Seven other charges for drug, theft and forgery offences were taken into consideration.