Jail, ban for negligent driver in fatal accident with e-scooter rider

SINGAPORE - A motorist failed to keep a proper lookout while approaching a zebra crossing and his car hit an e-scooter rider who died of a head injury a week later.

Chua Kok Wan, 48, was sentenced to three weeks' jail on Tuesday (Oct 16) and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for four years.

He was convicted last month of causing the death of 37-year-old Goh Yu Chiun by driving in a negligent manner.

During the three-day trial, Chua testified that he left his home for a church meeting at around 8pm on Aug 2 last year and drove along Thomson Road.

He said as he approached a slip road into Norfolk Road, he slowed down as it was a bend. He added that his speed at that time was about 20 to 30kmh.

According to Chua, Mr Goh suddenly appeared in front of him. He immediately jammed the brakes but it was too late and his car hit the man as the latter was crossing the road.

Chua called for the police and an ambulance, the court heard. Mr Goh was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and was pronounced dead on Aug 9 last year.

In his submission, Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Jian Yi said: "As he turned into the slip road, he claimed that he checked that there was no one at the zebra crossing or at both ends of the crossing, or approaching the crossing. He then proceeded forward."

He said: "If the accused had kept a proper lookout, he ought to have slowed down to stop at the zebra crossing to allow the deceased to cross the zebra crossing."

Based on video evidence from Chua's in-car camera, his vehicle was seen travelling towards the zebra crossing without slowing down to stop.

"The defence attempted to suggest that he was travelling at about 20 to 30kmh at this time, but this is pure speculation. The accused's actual speed is unclear. It is accepted that he was not travelling at a high speed," said the DPP.

Chua also claimed that the lighting along Thomson Road was "varied" and the area at the slip road was darker.

But DPP Lim told District Judge Kan Shuk Weng: "Contrary to the accused's assertions, the lighting conditions in the slip road were even brighter than along Thomson Road.

"The in-car footage shows that the accused's car was... close enough to the zebra crossing that the deceased, wearing a white shirt and dark shorts, on an e-scooter with a bright white headlight, would have been clearly visible to anyone keeping a proper lookout."

The court heard that Chua intends to appeal against his conviction and sentence. He is now out on bail of $20,000.

He is represented by lawyers Desmond Tan and Daryl Tay.