Bus driver gets 6 weeks' jail for injuring couple on bike

Cyclist and pillion rider wife suffered brain injuries in 2016 accident with SBS bus

A cyclist and his wife, who was riding pillion, suffered brain injuries after an SBS bus ploughed into them in 2016, a district court heard yesterday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jaime Pang said Madam Hou Huhong, 36, is now permanently disabled and has been placed in a nursing home for long-term care.

Her husband, Mr Soh Kong Beng, 50, has "significant cognitive impairment which may improve over time but is likely to be permanent".

Lim Yeok Wah, 63, who was driving service 55 when the accident occurred, was jailed for six weeks yesterday after pleading guilty to two counts of causing grievous hurt by negligent driving.

The Singaporean was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for three years.

The court was told that shortly before the accident at 10.06pm on Aug 8, 2016, Lim was driving the bus along Jalan Eunos towards Eunos Link while Mr Soh was cycling in front of him on the extreme left lane near the kerb.

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    Number of years he is disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles.

The bus driver failed to keep a proper lookout and his vehicle hit the rear of the bicycle before a junction near the Pan-Island Expressway flyover.

Mr Soh and his Chinese national wife were flung off the bicycle upon impact. The Singaporean fell onto a grass verge beside the road; Madam Hou landed on a nearby footway.

DPP Pang said: "The accused did not stop immediately after the collision. He took a few seconds to realise that he had hit the victims, and then stopped and reported the incident."

The couple were rushed to Changi General Hospital where Madam Hou was hospitalised until Jan 10 last year.

Mr Soh, who also suffered a brain injury, was hospitalised for more than 50 days until October 2016. He was also given medical leave until Feb 28 last year.

SBS Transit yesterday said it had tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to reach out to the victims to offer its assistance since the tragic accident, with the last contact made in May this year. "We will continue to keep the lines of communication open with the family," said senior vice-president of corporate communications Tammy Tan.

Mr Soh told The Straits Times hedid not hear from SBS Transit after the accident - until he called the firm a few months ago - but has yet to receive any assistance.

Lim, who was dismissed following the accident, could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 on each count of causing grievous hurt by performing a negligent act.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2018, with the headline 'Bus driver gets 6 weeks' jail for injuring couple on bike'. Print Edition | Subscribe