Man who drove van along a park connector pavement for 1.2km gets jail

SINGAPORE - A van driver who fell asleep at the wheel and ran a red light before driving in a park connector was sentenced to six days’ jail on Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty to driving in a rash manner, endangering human life.

Muhammad Ibrahim Abdullah was also disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for 15 months from his date of release.

Ibrahim had told investigators he was working as a lorry driver from 10.30pm on April 18, 2020, until around 6.30am the next day.

About 90 minutes later, he started on his second job as a van driver, delivering food parcels.

He then stopped at his cousin’s home at 11am for a meal before heading home about an hour later.

An exhausted Ibrahim nodded off at the wheel at a junction at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 and drove past a red light and mounted a kerb at around 12.30pm. 

As a result, another motorist had to apply the brakes to prevent a collision. The motorist’s passenger then alighted, approached Ibrahim’s van and knocked on the window.

Ibrahim woke up and when queried, he told the passenger that he was feeling tired and “just wanted to head home”.

Instead of reversing so that the van could get back on the road, Ibrahim drove on the pavement of a park connector for 1.2km.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jocelyn Teo said: “Although the accused was aware that he had mounted the kerb along the park connector, he chose not to reverse back onto the road but instead continued driving along the pavement of the park connector for 1.2 km.

“When the accused reached the end of the park connector, (he) came to a stop and a passer-by approached (him).”

The passer-by asked Ibrahim how he was feeling at the time and he replied with slurred speech that he was fine.

The passer-by told Ibrahim to wait for the police. Instead of complying, Ibrahim proceeded to drive onto a nearby road.

While doing so, the van stuck a railing and a bollard, the court heard.

The police were alerted and officers later tracked down Ibrahim who confirmed that he was driving the van during the incident.

DPP Teo said: “It was only fortuitous that there were no pedestrians walking along the park connector at that time, and there was thankfully no personal injury caused.”

For driving in a rash manner, endangering human life, an offender can be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000.

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