Lorry driver gets jail and ban for causing death of pregnant pillion rider

Ganesan Sivasankar is appealing against his conviction, and was allowed bail of $15,000, with his passport impounded.
Ganesan Sivasankar is appealing against his conviction, and was allowed bail of $15,000, with his passport impounded. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A lorry driver was jailed for 12 weeks and banned from driving for eight years on Monday (July 25) for causing the death of a pregnant pillion rider and hurt to her husband through a rash act.

Indian national Ganesan Sivasankar, 31, is appealing against his conviction. He was allowed bail of $15,000, with his passport impounded.

After an 11-day trial, he was found guilty last month of failing to give way to a motorcycle which had crashed into his lorry, and of causing the death of pillion rider Lui Yoke Leng, 28, along Woodlands Road at about 8.30am on Sept 3, 2013.

Ganesan was making a U-turn into Woodlands Road and filtering left towards the filter lane leading into Woodlands Industrial Park D Street 2 when he encroached into the path of rider Chan Kock Chong, now 30.

The motorcycle hit Ganesan's lorry.

Mr Chan, a Malaysian mechanic, had abrasions on his face, arms and legs, while his wife, also a Malaysian, died later in hospital. She was five months pregnant.

The court heard that Ganesan had woken up one hour later than usual that day and was late to pick up his workers.

The main dispute was whether the motorcycle was visible to Ganesan as it approached the U-turn point when he moved off and filtered left.

The prosecution said yes but the defence's answer was no.

In his written submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutor Yang Ziliang said the evidence showed that Mr Chan was travelling at about or below the speed limit of 60kmh.

He argued that Ganesan ought to have seen the motorcycle approaching his stationary lorry and allowed the motorcycle to pass before making his way across Woodlands Road.

Defence lawyer Tan Cheow Hung argued that Ganesan was telling the truth when he said that he had checked all the way to the bend before moving off and there was no traffic at all.

The maximum punishment for causing death by rash act is five years' jail and a fine.

For causing hurt by doing a rash act to endanger life, he could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to $5,000.