Regional sales manager jailed and banned from driving for hit-and-run accident

Edwin Cheng Dawei was jailed for seven months and banned from driving for five years.
Edwin Cheng Dawei was jailed for seven months and banned from driving for five years.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - After celebrating his birthday at a pub, a regional sales manager was driving home when his car hit a pedestrian and her dog, which was killed in the accident in August 2014 along Thomson Road.

Edwin Cheng Dawei, 34, did not stop his Mercedes-Benz SLK to help. Instead, he drove off and made arrangements for immediate repairs to cover up the damage to his car.

He was tracked down by the police through some broken car parts, including a left wing mirror, that were left at the scene.

On Wednesday (March 9), Cheng was jailed for seven months and banned from driving for five years after admitting to four charges - intentionally obstructing the course of justice; causing grievous hurt to IT manager Chen Wei Wei, 41, through life-endangering negligence; failing to help and moving his car from the accident scene without police authority.

The court heard that Ms Chen suffered multiple injuries, including a broken left elbow and pooling of the blood from damaged blood vessels between the skull and inner layers of the skin. She was warded for 18 days and given hospitalisation leave of two months.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Andrew Low said Cheng was along Thomson Road, in the middle lane, at 1.55am on Aug 16 that year when he hit Ms Chen near the junction of Jalan Merlimau. The body of her dog was found a short distance ahead.

Cheng stopped his car further down the road, outside a petrol kiosk to check the damage to his car. He told a kiosk attendant that he was involved in an accident. The attendant detected a strong alcohol smell from Cheng, who drove off with his car's front bumper scratching the road.

Cheng's lawyer Amolat Singh said his client had an outstanding national service record and regretted very much the circumstances in which the offences were committed. He said the incident was really "out of character'' and came as a shock to his client and his family members.

Two other charges were taken into consideration. Cheng had traffic-related convictions in 2000 and 2002, including driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

District Judge Adam Nakhoda found that Cheng had consumed alcohol before the accident. This, coupled with the speed at which he was travelling, contributed to his failure to notice the pedestrian.

"These are aggravating factors," he said.

He added that Cheng could not have failed to realise that he was involved in a serious collision as the damage to his car was extensive.

Judge Nakhoda said that, despite knowing he was involved in an accident, Cheng persisted in distancing himself from it, and had no concern for the consequences of his actions.