Tampines accident: Cement-mixer driver charged over crash

(Left) Chan Mun Hing at the scene of the accident in April. He allegedly failed to give way to a pedestrian when he was driving a double-decker bus. The victim was pinned under the bus and dragged for about 5m before it came to a stop.
(Left) Chan Mun Hing at the scene of the accident in April. He allegedly failed to give way to a pedestrian when he was driving a double-decker bus. The victim was pinned under the bus and dragged for about 5m before it came to a stop.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

A CEMENT-MIXER driver has been charged over the fatal crash in Tampines which claimed the lives of two brothers and cast the spotlight on heavy vehicles and road safety.

Munir Mohd Naim, 57, is claiming trial to causing the deaths of Nigel Yap Yew Cheong, 13, and Donavan Yap Teck Siong, seven, by a negligent act at the traffic light cross-junction of Tampines Avenue 9 and Tampines Street 45 on Jan 28.

Nigel was cycling and taking his brother - who was riding pillion - home after school when they were struck by the cement mixer at about 5.40pm.

Munir Mohd allegedly failed to keep a proper lookout while making a left turn from Tampines Avenue 9 into Street 45 when the traffic light was showing "green" in his favour.

The charge says the pedestrian traffic light was showing a "green man" when the collision occurred.

Both brothers were pronounced dead at the scene.

Munir Mohd's police bail has been extended until July 23 when his case will come up for mention again.

If convicted, he faces a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both.

Following the accident, Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng stepped in to try to reduce heavy vehicle traffic in Tampines.

In March, he managed to get the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to issue permits to contractors so that their cement mixers and trailers can take expressways to get to sites in Tampines instead of using smaller roads.

Normally, LTA rules bar heavy vehicles with low speed limits from using expressways to help traffic flow and for safety reasons.

Mr Baey said: "Heavy vehicle traffic has dropped in the area in recent months. I spotted only one cement mixer a few weeks ago and sent a picture of it to the authorities and they are following up. I have not received any complaints from residents too."

When contacted yesterday, the boys' maternal uncle, Mr Helmy Sarpan, 32, said their parents have been keeping busy by volunteering in church activities. Their mother, Madam Suliani Ang, 38, has since stopped work at McDonald's as she is still grieving and cannot concentrate at work.

The couple also plan to move out of their Tampines flat in a few months because living there brings back too many memories of their sons.

Mr Sarpan added: "We will leave it to the Government to investigate and do what is necessary. My brother-in-law has said that he has forgiven (the driver)."

elena@sph.com.sg

ameltan@sph.com.sg