6½ years' jail for speeding driver who killed maid

Man, who was drunk, had also failed to stop after crash and render assistance to victim

Sy Yong Da will be disqualified from holding all classes of driving licences for a period of 10 years upon his release from prison. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Sy Yong Da will be disqualified from holding all classes of driving licences for a period of 10 years upon his release from prison.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Drunk and falling asleep, Sy Yong Da, 26, was speeding with his eyes closed when he crashed his car into a woman who was walking along a sheltered footpath in Farrer Road.

But instead of stopping, Sy drove home and had his car towed to a workshop to cover up what he had done.

The victim was a domestic worker, Ms Domielyn Santos Ocampo, 40, who was later found dead at the scene.

She was married and had two sons, aged eight and 19, in the Philippines.

Yesterday, Sy was jailed for 6½ years, and will be disqualified from holding all classes of driving licences for a period of 10 years upon his release from prison.

He pleaded guilty to one count each of dangerous driving, failing to render assistance and obstruction of justice. Two other charges of failing to stop after the accident and removing his vehicle from the scene were taken into consideration for sentencing.

Ms Ocampo was on her way home from the market at about 6am on Dec 7, 2019, when Sy, driving a silver Lexus at about 78kmh to 81kmh on the 70kmh road, veered across two lanes and crashed into the footpath. Ms Ocampo was flung into a pillar.

Sy got back onto the road and left her for dead, Deputy Public Prosecutor Samyata Ravindran told the court. When he got home to his condo in Spanish Village, he called a towing company and had his car towed to a workshop in Kaki Bukit at about 7.30am.

It took five investigation officers to track him down, after they found debris from the car, including a broken number plate holder, at the scene.

When questioned, Sy took the officers to the workshop. A splatter of Ms Ocampo's blood and shreds of her clothing were found on the car, which was severely damaged with a cracked front windscreen and a broken bonnet, bumper and headlamp.

The court heard that Sy had been drinking beer mixed with cognac for several hours before the crash. He had also taken a female friend for a meal and driven her home at about 5.35am.

The prosecution had urged the court to jail Sy for seven years and disqualify him from holding all classes of driving licences for at least 10 years after his release.

Sy was granted bail of $20,000 to settle his personal affairs and have a meal with his family once Covid-19 restrictions allow dining in at eateries. He is expected to surrender himself on June 22.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline '6½ years' jail for speeding driver who killed maid'. Subscribe