Jail, driving ban for man in fatal drink-driving case

A 29-year-old businessman's blood had almost twice the legal ethanol limit for drink driving when he rammed into a stationary taxi on an expressway and the cabby standing outside, who later died.

Raymond Chiang Zhi Hao was yesterday jailed for four months, fined $4,000 and banned from driving for eight years after pleading guilty to causing death through his negligence and drink driving.

The taxi, driven by Mr Sim Beng Guan, 59, had stopped in between the leftmost and centre lane of the three-lane Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) after a minor accident with a lorry at 2.26am on March 18 last year.

Neither he nor the lorry driver had been hurt.

After both parties had exchanged particulars, the lorry driver offered to help Mr Sim to move his taxi to the road shoulder but the latter declined.

Mr Sim continued to wait outside the taxi for about 15 minutes when Chiang's car hit the rear right of the cab. The taxi spun to its nearside and ended up on the road shoulder.

Mr Sim, who was bleeding profusely from the head, was taken to Changi General Hospital.

In June last year, he was transferred to Parkway East Hospital for rehabilitation. He died on Nov 22. He had been bed-bound and could not talk since the accident.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hairul Hakkim said that subsequent investigations showed that Chiang was found to have bloodshot eyes, a flushed face, a slightly unsteady gait and smelt of alcohol.

He failed a breathalyser test at the scene of the accident.

He admitted that he had taken two glasses of red wine at his friend's house in Lorong 8 Toa Payoh earlier.

His blood sample was found to contain 154mg of ethanol per 100ml of blood, which exceeded the prescribed limit of 80mg/100ml.

Chiang had been convicted in 2007 for being a member of an unlawful assembly, as well as drink driving in 2010.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death; and for drink driving, fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to 12 months.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2016, with the headline 'Jail, driving ban for man in fatal drink-driving case'. Print Edition | Subscribe