Motorcyclist's death ruled a misadventure; prime mover driver didn't see him on his left

SINGAPORE - The death of a motorcyclist who was involved in a fatal road accident involving a prime mover has been determined as "a most unfortunate traffic misadventure".

On Sept 14 last year, Mr Muhammad Haziq Juraimi, 20, was sending his younger brother Mr Muhammad Danish Juraimi, 17, to school on a motorcycle when it collided with a prime mover. Mr Haziq died at the scene while Mr Danish had grave injuries to his face and spine, and was hospitalised for two months.

The accident happened at the Jalan Boon Lay junction, off Jurong West Avenue 4 towards Jalan Bahar, before 1.20pm as the vehicles were moving off when the lights turned green.

Prime mover driver Ismail Mohamed, 46, stated that he did not see Mr Haziq and his motorbike at the time of the crash although he did feel his front left tyre run over an object. It was only after moving forward that he saw in his right side mirror Mr Haziq lying on the pedestrian crossing. He got down from his vehicle to check and found Mr Danish underneath his prime mover.

A lorry driver who had stopped beside the prime mover at the red light provided in-vehicle footage which showed Mr Haziq on the left of Mr Ismail's vehicle. It showed him overtaking the prime mover from the left as Mr Ismail picked up speed, ending in a collision. Both the front and rear left tyres of the vehicle were seen running over Mr Haziq.

A blind-spot analysis by the Health Science Authority's Forensic Chemistry and Physics Laboratory determined that when Mr Haziq was travelling in front of Mr Ismail, he could not be seen from the prime mover's windscreen, left side window, left upper and lower mirrors, top-down mirror and a small circular mirror.

"Given that Mr Haziq had overtaken Mr Ismail's prime mover from the left before filtering into Mr Ismail's path of travel with less than half a car's clearance, it would be reasonable to conclude that Mr Ismail was not able to see Mr Haziq," said Coroner Marvin Bay.

He added:"Mr Haziq's sad demise underscores the profound dangers attendant to thoughtless overtaking in the presence of heavy vehicles. The practice of overtaking from the left is particularly hazardous, as drivers of heavy vehicles have limited vision of vehicular activity on their left and objects in close proximity to their front."

Correction note: A previous version of this story said that Mr Marvin Bay is the State Coroner. His title has been corrected to Coroner. We are sorry for the error.