The Straits Times
Published on Oct 25, 2012

Conflicting accounts in schoolboy's fatal accident

Driver, witness differ over traffic signal at Sembawang Drive pedestrian crossing


Was the green man still blinking when a nine-year-boy using a pedestrian crossing outside Sembawang Primary School was hit by a car earlier this year? Two conflicting accounts were heard on Wednesday - from the car driver and a witness - when they took the stand at a coroner's inquest.

On Jan 13, Primary 4 pupil Lee Yu Heng was knocked down by a Toyota Camry driven by Mr Tay Kian Leng, 43, while crossing Sembawang Drive. The interior designer, married with one child, said the traffic light had been in his favour when he saw "something flying out from my right to my left".

He was driving towards Admiralty Drive to deposit a cheque at a bank in Sun Plaza mall. Early on in the inquiry, he said he had been travelling at between 40kmh and 50kmh. When asked, he said he "saw no students" at the pedestrian crossing to his right and had seen only "some civilian adults".

State Coroner Imran Abdul Hamid then told him eyewitness accounts and video footage from the school showed there were a few students who were close to or around the crossing when the accident happened before 1.30pm.