Lorry driver jailed for causing crash, passenger had left leg amputated

SINGAPORE - A lorry passenger had to have his left leg amputated below the knee in 2016 after the driver drove in a negligent manner and crashed the vehicle.

Singaporean driver Natesan Ravi was jailed for a week on Thursday (Feb 1) for causing grievous hurt by negligent driving. He was also disqualified from driving for 1½ years.

The court heard that at about 6am on June 27, 2016, Natesan, 40, was driving along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 with Indian national Vellakannu Vellaichamy, 41, beside him when he failed to keep proper control of his lorry.

It crashed into some road railings, resulting in serious damage to the front and the left side of the vehicle. The front left wheel was also dislodged.

Mr Vellakannu's left foot was trapped under the damaged part of the lorry and Natesan called for an ambulance.

The Indian national was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where doctors amputated part of his left leg. He was warded for 117 days until Oct 21, 2016.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Shi said that at the time of the accident, the weather was fine, the road surface was dry and traffic flow was moderate.

She urged District Judge Tan Jen Tse to jail Natesan for a week, saying that the harm caused to Mr Vellakannu was serious and permanent.

But defence lawyer Andre Arul asked the court not to send his client to jail.

Stressing that Natesan had not been speeding, the lawyer also said that Mr Vellakannu "holds no grudge against the accused... The accused is the sole breadwinner of his family based in India and relies heavily on his driving licence to carry out part of his daily duties... and will thus be financially impacted by a loss of his driving licence".

For causing grievous hurt by committing a negligent act, Natesan could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

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