Clementi crash that killed NUS student: $5,000 bail for driver who was allegedly speeding

Ms Kathy Ong died after a taxi she was riding in collided with a car at the junction of Commonwealth Avenue West and Clementi Road, on April 19, 2018.
Ms Kathy Ong died after a taxi she was riding in collided with a car at the junction of Commonwealth Avenue West and Clementi Road, on April 19, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A man who was allegedly speeding when his car ploughed into a taxi, causing an accident that killed a National University of Singapore (NUS) student, has had his bail set at $5,000.

Ng Li Ning, 22, is facing a dangerous driving charge and his pre-trial conference took place at the State Courts on Friday (Oct 11).

He is accused of driving at a speed of 92kmh when his car struck Yap Kok Hua's taxi along Commonwealth Avenue West at around 7.30pm on April 19 last year.

The speed limit there was 70kmh, according to court documents.

NUS student Kathy Ong Kai Ting, 19, who was in the taxi, died of multiple injuries while three other passengers suffered serious injuries, including those affecting the brain.

Yap, 55, who is no longer a taxi driver, was sentenced in August to eight weeks' jail and banned from driving for five years.

In July, he pleaded guilty to negligent driving, and causing the death of Ms Ong and the grievous hurt to the other passengers. They are Mr Zon Lim Thou Jung, Mr Lim Jin Jie and Mr Ting Jun Heng, all of whom were 22 years old.

The four passengers had boarded Yap's taxi at Clementi Mall in Commonwealth Avenue West on April 19 last year. They were headed to Tembusu College in NUS.

Yap drove towards the signalised cross junction of Commonwealth Avenue West and Clementi Road, and stopped when the lights turned red.

 
 
 
 

When the lights turned green, he moved forward into the right-turn pocket. He then stopped and checked for vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

The court had heard that he did so before the green right-turn arrow came on.

According to court documents, Yap saw Ng's car coming towards him from the opposite direction at a high speed but decided to execute the discretionary right turn anyway.

The car was unable to avoid the taxi and slammed into it. The taxi was then travelling at 24kmh.

Ms Ong, who was seated in the rear-left passenger seat, was taken to the National University Hospital where she died about three hours later.

The three other passengers were taken to the same hospital. Mr Zon Lim, who was in the front seat, suffered a brain injury and had multiple glass pieces in his wounds.

The rear-right passenger, Mr Lim Jin Jie, was found with blood outside his brain and a spinal fracture. Both men were hospitalised for eight days.

Mr Ting, who was in the rear-centre passenger seat, suffered a "traumatic brain injury" and was vegetative at first but later "managed to progress", the court heard.

He was hospitalised for 54 days and was referred to Tan Tock Seng Hospital after his discharge for rehabilitation.

Ng's next pre-trial conference will be held on Nov 15.

First-time offenders convicted of dangerous driving can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000. Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $10,000.