Lorry driver jailed over fatal crash and commercial sex with girl, 17

Sun was found to have driven a truck at an unsafe speed towards a traffic light pedestrian crossing.
Sun was found to have driven a truck at an unsafe speed towards a traffic light pedestrian crossing. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A lorry driver was jailed for seven months and banned from driving for seven years on Tuesday (Nov 24) for dangerous driving which resulted in the death of a pedestrian and injuries to two others in a road traffic accident 2-1/2 years ago.

Chinese national Sun Xinjian, 38, was given another 12 weeks' jail after he had admitted to paying $60 for the sexual services of a 17-year-old girl from China at Lai Ming Hotel in Geylang Road on May 23, 2013.

He went on a 13-day trial for causing the death of Mr Sivaprakash Pathmanathan, 27, by dangerous driving along Clementi Avenue 6 at the signalised cross junction by Clementi Loop; causing grievous hurt to Mr Sivaprakash's cousin, Ms Cheryl Stephanie Elias Edward, 26, and causing hurt to Ms Peh Bee Ling, 45, on Nov 6, 2013.

He was cleared of driving the lorry with bald tyres.

He is appealing.

Sun, who works for a logistics company that delivers supplies to McDonald's, was found to have driven the refrigerated truck at an unsafe speed of about 50kmh towards a traffic light pedestrian crossing, resulting in his vehicle not being able to stop in time for the red light. He thus hit the three pedestrians who were crossing the road on a green man signal.

Mr Sivaprakash died on the spot while Ms Edward, then a pre-school teacher, was warded for four months for her leg injury. Ms Peh was warded for two days with head and elbow injuries.

Sun claimed the accident was beyond his control because the brakes failed on the spot.

Convicting Sun of the three charges on Nov 12, District Judge Kamala Ponnampalam accepted the prosecution's position that the brakes had been inefficient from the start of the journey, and not just before the accident as claimed by the defence.

Given the fact that Sun was unable to bring the lorry to a stop before the red light, the judge concluded that the speed at which Sun was travelling then was unsafe.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yang Ziliang prosecuted the case while Sun was defended by Mr Ramesh Appoo.

The maximum penalty for paid sex with a person under 18 years old is seven years' jail and a fine. For causing death by dangerous driving, he could have been jailed up to five years.