Cabbies in trouble #1

Jail for man whose taxi hit pedestrian, leaving her in coma

A taxi driver drove his vehicle in a negligent manner in July last year and it ploughed into a pedestrian who is still in a coma more than a year later.

Kan Chee Chew, 56, pleaded guilty yesterday to causing grievous hurt to Ms Pakrisamy Kamala, 61, by negligent driving.

He was sentenced to two weeks' jail and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for five years.

Kan, who had been a cabby for the past 15 years, was driving along Syed Alwi Road towards Jalan Besar on July 3 last year at around 7pm when he reached a non-signalised T-junction with a stop line.

The court heard that instead of stopping at the line, he slowed down and made a right turn into Jalan Besar. He failed to keep a proper lookout and the taxi collided into Ms Pakrisamy, who was crossing the road at the time.

The impact caused her to land 2m away, and Kan then alighted from his taxi to assist her.

She was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where she was found to have a brain injury and a fractured skull.

She was transferred from the intensive care unit to the general ward 12 days later, and discharged to a nursing home on Nov 22 last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Bjorn Tan said that according to a medical report dated Dec 18 that year, Ms Pakrisamy's chance of recovery is slim and she "is likely to remain comatose or minimally conscious".

  • 2

    Number of weeks' jail for taxi driver Kan Chee Chew

  • 5

    Number of years he is disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles

He told District Judge Brenda Tan: "The victim has been in a coma since the date of the incident."

The DPP urged the court to sentence Kan to at least two weeks' jail and disqualify him from driving all classes of vehicles for five years.

He said that Kan had earlier committed other traffic offences, including running a red light signal on several occasions.

For causing grievous hurt by negligent driving, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2019, with the headline Jail for man whose taxi hit pedestrian, leaving her in coma. Subscribe