Delivery driver in hit-and-run case gets jail, driving ban

Kasmani Ahmat, 55, was jailed for eight weeks and banned from driving for three years after pleading guilty to three charges.
Kasmani Ahmat, 55, was jailed for eight weeks and banned from driving for three years after pleading guilty to three charges.

When delivery driver Kasmani Ahmat got home from work one night, he told his wife that he might have hit a pedestrian.

As it turned out, he had. Two cameras caught him driving away after running into a 63-year-old man who died of injuries shortly after the accident.

Yesterday, the 55-year-old was jailed for eight weeks and banned from driving for three years after pleading guilty to three charges - causing the death of Mr Sathiamoorthy Ramiah through a negligent act, failing to render assistance and removing his vehicle without police authority.

The court heard that Kasmani was driving along Mohamed Sultan Road on April 20, 2016, and was not keeping a proper lookout while making a right turn into Martin Road, resulting in the collision with Mr Sathiamoorthy.

He did not stop and he was captured driving away from the scene on a nearby CCTV camera and a taxi's in-car camera.

A witness saw the victim lying in the road and another lorry stopped to render assistance.

Kasmani admitted in his police statement that he was at the accident scene at the time, but initially claimed ignorance of any involvement. Further investigations showed that he had admitted to his wife that night that he might have hit a pedestrian.

Investigations also showed an exchange of SMS messages between him and his wife the next day in relation to the hit-and-run accident, in which his wife advised him to surrender himself.

The court heard that at the time of the accident, it was raining heavily and traffic flow was light.

Kasmani's lawyer Quek Ling Yi from Dentons Rodyk & Davidson - assigned by the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme - said in the mitigation plea that he now works as a cleaner and has five children to support.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death by negligence.

The maximum penalty for failing to render assistance is a $3,000 fine or 12 months' jail; and for removing his vehicle, a $1,000 fine or three months' jail.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2018, with the headline 'Delivery driver in hit-and-run case gets jail, driving ban'. Print Edition | Subscribe