8 weeks’ jail for driver who hit boy and man in separate incidents

SINGAPORE – A driver whose car hit an 11-year-old boy while he was under investigation for another accident a year earlier was jailed for eight weeks on Monday.

Toh Poh Heng, 62, who pleaded guilty to two charges relating to the incidents, was disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for five years with effect from the date of his release.

The police prosecutor said that on July 23, 2020, at about 6.22am, Toh was driving along Chai Chee Street without reasonable consideration for other road users.

He made a left turn towards Bedok North Road without exercising care and collided with a 64-year-old man who was crossing the road. The victim suffered multiple injuries, including skull fractures, and was hospitalised for 17 days, 10 of which were spent in the intensive care unit. He was also given 38 days of hospitalisation leave.

Slightly more than a year later on Aug 2, 2021, Toh was driving along Aljunied Crescent when he hit a boy while making a left turn into Geylang East Central. The boy suffered abrasions on his left elbow, left knee and left wrist.

Seeking a jail term of four to eight weeks for the charge of driving without due care in the 2020 incident, the police prosecutor said the harm caused to the victim was serious as he had multiple rib fractures which led to respiratory failure.

The police prosecutor also sought a jail term of two to three weeks for the charge of failing to render assistance to the boy in the 2021 incident. She said that Toh did not lodge a report until the police contacted him about the incident and noted that it was aggravating that he had committed the offence while being investigated for the 2020 accident.

Defence lawyer Tan Cheng Kiong said that for the 2020 incident, the visibility was poor and the road was wet. He added that Toh stopped his vehicle and stayed with the victim until an ambulance arrived.

On the charge of failing to render assistance to the boy, Mr Tan said his client felt compelled to move his vehicle away due to heavy traffic and could not find the victim later as the latter had left the scene.

An individual who drives without reasonable care for others using the road and causes grievous hurt can be jailed for up to two years or fined up to $5,000.

For failing to render assistance, a first-time offender can be jailed for up to three months or fined up to $1,000.

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