Delivery driver jailed and banned for causing death of van passenger and injuring 10 others

Delivery driver Ong Lye Cho was jailed for three months and banned from driving for five years after causing the death of a van passenger and injuring 10 others.
Delivery driver Ong Lye Cho was jailed for three months and banned from driving for five years after causing the death of a van passenger and injuring 10 others. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A delivery driver failed to stop when he made a left turn at a road junction, causing a van carrying 10 DHL workers to crash into his lorry and resulting in one death and 10 others injured.

Ong Lye Cho, 49, admitted to causing the death of Mr Hee Hong Fai, 37 a classification agent, and causing grievous hurt to the driver of the Malaysian-registered van and a passenger through his negligence at about 1.20am on June 3 last year.

He was making a left turn from the Gate 4 exit of the SATS Airfreight Terminal onto Airport Cargo Road when he drove pastthe "stop line", failing togive way to Mr Ooi Mee Pheng's van coming from his right along Airport Cargo Road towards Airline Road.

Upon impact, Mr Hee, who was seated behind the 58-year-old driver, was flung forward with the front of his upper body lying on the dashboard.

His colleague, quality control agent Tam Wan Shiong, 42, who was seated directly behind the driver, was also thrown forward and lay on top of Mr Hee.

Some passengers in the van tried to use a hammer to smash the van's windows to escape. Other people outside tried to open the van doors.

After a while, most of the passengers managed to escape from the van, except for the driver Mr Ooi, Mr Hee, Mr Tam and another passenger.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tang Shangjun said that after the collision, Ong lost control of his vehicle which continued to travel straight on and mounted two pavement kerbs before stopping some distance away.

Ong alightedfrom his lorry and apologised to Mr Ooi.

Mr Ooi, who made three trips a day to ferry DHL workers to and from Singapore and Malaysia, was on his final daily trip to ferry the day shift workers home across the Causeway when the accident happened.

The headlights of his van were on at the time.

Ong began his shift at 2pm on June 2 and completed his task of delivering cargo to the SATS Cargo Centre at about 1am the next day.

He was on his way to return the lorry when the accident occurred.

Mr Hee was pronounced dead at 2.14am that day. Among Mr Ooi's injuries were a 4cm-long wound over his left shin and a fractured left kneecap. Mr Tam suffered a broken nose and mild bleeding in the brain.

Ong, who has a previous conviction for drink driving in 2012, was jailed for three months and banned from driving for five years on Thursday (March 16) after pleading guilty to two charges.

A third charge of causing hurt to eight passengers in the van was taken into consideration in sentencing.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death through his negligence. The maximum penalty for causing grievous hurt by doing an act so negligently as to endanger the personal safety of others is two years' jail and a $5,000 fine.