Jail for former SBS driver who hit cyclist and wife, causing brain injuries to both

SINGAPORE - A cyclist and his wife, who was riding pillion, suffered brain injuries after an SBS bus ploughed into them in 2016, a district court heard on Thursday (Aug 2).

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jaime Pang said Madam Hou Huhong, 36, is now permanently disabled and has been placed in a nursing home for long-term care.

Her husband, Mr Soh Kong Beng, 50, has "significant cognitive impairment which may improve over time but likely to be permanent".

Lim Yeok Wah, 63, who was driving service 55 when the accident occurred, was jailed for six weeks on Thursday after pleading guilty to two counts of causing grievous hurt by negligent driving.

The Singaporean was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for three years.

The court was told that shortly before the accident at 10.06pm on Aug 8, 2016, Lim was driving the bus along Jalan Eunos towards Eunos Link while Mr Soh was cycling in front of him on the extreme left lane near the kerb.

The bus driver failed to keep a proper lookout and his vehicle hit the rear of the bicycle before a junction near the Pan-Island Expressway flyover.

Mr Soh and his Chinese national wife were flung off the bicycle upon impact. The Singaporean fell onto a grass verge beside the road while Madam Hou landed on a nearby footway.

DPP Pang said: "The accused did not stop immediately after the collision. He took a few seconds to realise that he had hit the victims, and then stopped and reported the incident."

The couple were rushed to Changi General Hospital where Madam Hou was hospitalised until Jan 10 last year.

The DPP added: "She is permanently disabled as a result of severe traumatic brain injury... (and) was also found to be permanently incapacitated for employment purposes and she has been placed in a nursing home for long-term care."

Mr Soh, who also suffered a brain injury, was hospitalised for more than 50 days until October 2016.

He was also given medical leave until Feb 28 last year.

On Thursday, defence lawyer Eric Liew urged District Judge Salina Ishak to sentence his client to either a fine or a week-long jail term.

He said that Lim, who is sorry for the injuries caused, has "lost his livelihood" and has learnt his lesson.

Lim could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 on each count of causing grievous hurt by performing a negligent act.