Driver in fatal AYE accident charged in hospital

Printing business owner, 53, accused of causing death by dangerous driving

The driver of the Mercedes-Benz that ploughed into oncoming traffic on the AYE has been charged with causing death by reckless or dangerous driving.
The driver of the Mercedes-Benz that ploughed into oncoming traffic on the AYE has been charged with causing death by reckless or dangerous driving. PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROZAIDY

Businessman Lim Chai Heng, 53, has been charged with causing death by reckless or dangerous driving for his role in Monday morning's dramatic accident on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE).

He allegedly drove a Mercedes-Benz car against the flow of traffic at high speed and rammed into a car, killing its driver, Mr Liong Kuo Hwa, 37. Four others were injured, including Lim himself.

The incident happened at 8.02am. The charge says that Lim went against the flow of traffic, thus resulting in a head-on collision with Mr Liong's Toyota Vios, which was travelling towards the Tuas Checkpoint.

Lim's car - ferrying a man who later identified himself to a witness as Lim's son - then ploughed into a motorcycle, sending its rider and pillion rider flying in the air.

The incident was captured by various in-car cameras.

FRIENDLY BUSINESSMAN

We would talk about our businesses and regular everyday topics. He mentioned recently that his business has been a bit slow of late and he was not earning as much as in the past.

MR KOH SIU LIUNG, who runs a business next door to Lim Chai Heng's printing firm. He added that Lim was friendly, always smiling and would chat with him often.

 
 
 

A Chinese interpreter yesterday read the holding charge to Lim, who was warded in National University Hospital for injuries.

Mr Liong, also known as Jackie, had appeared in several films, television programmes and commercials. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His 37-year-old wife, Ms Venny Oliver, who was in the car, was injured and warded in hospital, along with the motorcyclist and his female pillion rider.

From a business profile search, The Straits Times (ST) learnt that Lim has owned a printing business operating from a unit at Kallang Bahru Industrial Estate since 1993.

The business was open when ST visited the premises yesterday afternoon, and there were three employees present at the time.

One of them, who declined to be named, would only say that Lim treated his staff well.

Mr Koh Siu Liung, who runs a business next door supplying equipment to the marine industry, said that Lim was friendly, always smiling and would chat with him often.

"We would talk about our businesses and regular everyday topics," said Mr Koh. "He mentioned recently that his business has been a bit slow of late and he was not earning as much as in the past."

When the ST team visited Lim's Hougang Street 11 condominium, a male family member told a security guard that he did not want to speak to the media.

Lim will be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric assessment after his discharge from hospital.

The case will be mentioned in the State Courts on Jan 3.

The maximum punishment for causing death by dangerous driving is five years in jail.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2016, with the headline 'Driver in fatal AYE accident charged in hospital'. Subscribe