Cyclist jailed over fatal accident with pedestrian

Man who died after collision in Sims Avenue last year had not been jaywalking, says DPP

Toni Timo Salminen (left) has been given a week's jail for causing Mr Chew Fook Yew's death.
Toni Timo Salminen (above) has been given a week's jail for causing Mr Chew Fook Yew's death.

A cyclist has been given a prison sentence over an accident involving a pedestrian, who died of his injuries five days after the crash.

Toni Timo Salminen, who is Finnish, was yesterday sentenced to a week's jail after pleading guilty to causing Mr Chew Fook Yew's death by cycling in a negligent manner.

Salminen, 42, had failed to keep a proper lookout while cycling in Sims Avenue on Oct 1 last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rimplejit Kaur said the 53-year-old pedestrian had not been jaywalking, and the accident happened more than 50m from the nearest pedestrian crossing.

She said: "This is not a case where the deceased suddenly dashed onto the road, suddenly appeared (on) the road from an obscured position, suddenly stopped while crossing the road, suddenly turned back while crossing the road, hesitated or lingered while crossing the road or suddenly bent down to pick up something while crossing the road.

"In fact... the accused had an unobstructed view of the entire process of the deceased crossing the road, from the commencement to collision, if he had a kept a proper lookout."

Salminen was in the second lane of the four-lane road in Sims Avenue, going towards Sims Avenue East, at about 6.15pm when Mr Chew stepped onto the fourth and extreme left lane of the road.

Although Salminen spotted Mr Chew walking briskly across the third lane, he did not slow down.

The prosecutor said: "According to the accused, when the deceased was already in lane two, the accused rang the bicycle bell and jammed his brakes...The accused, however, could not stop the bicycle in time as the distance between the accused and the deceased was too short.

"As a result, the accused collided (with) the deceased. The deceased fell backwards onto the road while the accused was flung off the bicycle and onto the road."

Salminen then attended to Mr Chew, who was lying motionless on the road, and waited until an ambulance arrived at the scene.

An ambulance took the pedestrian to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, and Salminen alerted the police about the incident at about 7.10pm that day.

Mr Chew was pronounced dead at around 10.30pm on Oct 6 last year.

Following an autopsy, he was found to have died from a head injury, consistent with one sustained in a traffic accident.

For causing Mr Chew's death by cycling in a negligent manner, Salminen could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2020, with the headline Cyclist jailed over fatal accident with pedestrian. Subscribe