Teen driver pleads guilty to rash act

Herman Shi Ximu had been warned for speeding five months before the collision in Kallang.
Herman Shi Ximu had been warned for speeding five months before the collision in Kallang.

Just four months after receiving his driving licence on March 31, last year, a full-time national serviceman was warned for speeding.

Five months later, Herman Shi Ximu drove a Nissan GTR - registered in the 19-year-old's name - in excess of 100kmh before slamming into a Toyota Corolla driven by contractor Teong Hien Sing, 66. Nissan GTRs are capable of clocking more than 300kmh, according to Nissan.

The teenager pleaded guilty yesterday to causing grievous hurt to Mr Teong by performing the rash act at surface Carpark 5 in Stadium Walk in Kallang on Aug 27 last year. The accident left Mr Teong with broken ribs and bleeding in the brain.

Shi had been at a nearby motoring event shortly before the accident, the court heard.

At around 5.45pm, he stopped his car at one end of the carpark before rapidly accelerating. He then drove through a non-signalised junction at a high speed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Soh Weiqi said: "At the second non-signalised junction within the carpark, the accused failed to stop at the stop line and he did not give way to the victim, who was travelling from his left."

She added that Mr Teong had the right of way.

According to a report from a Health Sciences Authority forensic scientist, Shi, who covered a distance of at least 72.2m, was driving at a speed of between 104kmh and 121kmh at that time.

Mr Teong went to the Changi General Hospital later that day as he felt pain in his chest and neck. X-rays revealed that he had two fractured ribs and he was given a two-week medical leave. He later went to Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre and an MRI scan of his spine on Sept 9 last year showed degenerative changes.

He had an MRI brain scan about a month later and doctors found that he had a subdural haematoma - a pooling of blood between the covering of the brain and the brain surface. He had surgery to remove the haematoma.

Yesterday, DPP Soh urged District Judge May Mesenas to jail Shi for at least six weeks and disqualify him from driving for 1 1/2 years. She also said that according to a doctor, Mr Teong's head injury was likely caused by the collision.

Shi, who was unrepresented, admitted he had made a mistake and that he had thought the carpark was empty. He is now out on a bail of $10,000 and will be back in court on Oct 17.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2017, with the headline 'Teen driver pleads guilty to rash act'. Print Edition | Subscribe