Driver hit girl, 9, at zebra crossing, ignored mum's plea for help

SINGAPORE - A nine-year-old girl was walking home from Bedok Mall with her mother when they were hit by a car at a zebra crossing.

Despite the mother's pleas for help, the driver, who was on delivery jobs, drove off and continued his deliveries.

The crash caused the girl to suffer a severe traumatic brain injury, which needed surgery.

The driver, Sheik Salim Said, was sentenced to five months' jail on Monday (Aug 22) after he pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving causing grievous hurt.

Three other charges, including one for driving the car away from the scene after the accident, were taken into consideration during his sentencing.

The 46-year-old Singaporean was also given a five-year driving ban that will take effect after he is released from jail.

The victims cannot be named as the girl's identity is protected under the Children and Young Persons Act.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jeremy Bin said in court documents that Sheik Salim was driving along Bedok North Drive at or around 8.20pm on April 18 last year when he filtered to a slip road to head to Bedok North Avenue 1.

While on the slip road, he said, the accused drove "without due care and attention by failing to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians along the designated zebra crossing".

As a result, he collided into the girl and her 37-year-old mother who were on the zebra crossing and had right of way.

At no point before the collision did he slow down his vehicle, said DPP Bin.

After the accident, Sheik Salim exited his vehicle and moved the victims to the side of the road. Ignoring the woman's pleas for help and to call for an ambulance, he then drove off.

Members of the public later called for emergency assistance, and an ambulance took the victims to Changi General Hospital.

The police tracked down Sheik Salim the day after the accident using information provided to them.

Apart from the brain injury, the girl also had abrasions and a shinbone fracture. She was sedated for 10 days in the children's intensive care unit. She was discharged on May 13 and given 73 days of hospitalisation leave.

DPP Bin said that as at April 5 this year, she continues to suffer from short-term memory problems, as well as problems in mathematics. Her parents have also reported behavioural changes in their child.

The girl's mother, who had abrasions on her left elbow and a tender right foot, was admitted to hospital for three days and given 30 days of hospitalisation leave.

DPP Bin said the car sustained dents on its bonnet from the impact of the collision. He also noted that the weather was fine, the road surface was dry and traffic flow was light at the time of the accident.

For careless driving causing grievous hurt, Sheik Salim could have been fined up to $5,000, jailed for up to two years, or both.

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