Ex-bus driver jailed over fatal accident

A private bus driver, who has a history of traffic offences including speeding, ran a red light and hit a taxi, killing one of its passengers.

The cab driver and three other people in the taxi suffered serious injuries, including multiple fractures.

Khor Teck Chai, 63, who is no longer working as a bus driver, was sentenced yesterday to seven months' jail and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for seven years.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty to causing the death of Chinese national Lin Xiayan by dangerous driving. Khor also admitted causing grievous hurt to four other people inside the taxi by performing a rash act. All of them are Singaporeans.

The court heard that cabby Chia Keng Seng, 59, had been ferrying Madam Lin, 70, and three of her family members in his taxi when the accident occurred.

The three were her husband Lin Deming, 76, daughter Lin Jifeng, 43, and son-in-law Zheng Jianxiang, 47.

The taxi was travelling along Woodlands Drive 65 at about 6.30am on Oct 19, 2016, when it stopped at a T-junction as the lights had turned red. Mr Chia then made a right turn into Woodlands Avenue 6 when the lights turned green in his favour.

Meanwhile, Khor, who was driving the bus at the same T-junction, ran the red light he faced, causing his vehicle to plough into Mr Chia's taxi.

Mr Zheng was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, while his family members and Mr Chia were taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

Madam Lin, who suffered injuries consistent with those sustained in a traffic accident, died on Dec 18, 2016.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Ying Min said Mr Chia suffered multiple fractures to his skull and ribs. He was given hospitalisation leave until Nov 29 that year. Mr Lin's injuries included fractures to his ribs, face and spine. He was warded until Nov 18 that year.

The court heard that Ms Lin fractured her right wrist, while Mr Zheng suffered injuries including a broken nose.

Court documents did not state whether Khor was injured in the accident.

For causing death due to dangerous driving, Khor could have been jailed for up to five years.

For causing grievous hurt by performing a rash act, he could have been jailed for up to four years and fined up to $10,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 18, 2018, with the headline 'Ex-bus driver jailed over fatal accident'. Print Edition | Subscribe