SINGAPORE - Just two months after his father gave him an electric scooter, a teenager knocked into a pedestrian, causing her to suffer severe brain injuries.
Nicholas Ting Nai Jie, 18, had failed to keep a proper lookout while riding the e-scooter on Sept 17, 2016.
Madam Ang Liu Kiow, a 55-year-old mother of three, was left in a month-long coma. Her husband told The Straits Times in a subsequent interview that his wife can no longer remember the past or express herself properly.
On Wednesday (June 13), Ting pleaded guilty to causing grievous hurt to Madam Ang, a housewife, while riding his e-scooter in a negligent manner.
The court heard that the 14kg device cost $1,600 and his father had bought it in July 2016.
On the day of the incident, Ting had his girlfriend with him on the e-scooter and they made their way to Pasir Ris East Community Club.
The instructions manual of his e-scooter had warned against riding with a pillion rider but he ignored it.
The teenager was moving at about 15kmh on a footpath in Pasir Ris Drive 1 when he approached a bus stop.
The court heard that he failed to keep a proper lookout and did not reduce his speed even though there were pedestrians in the vicinity. He also did not sound the horn to inform them that he was approaching the area.
When Madam Ang stepped onto the footpath in front of the bus stop, Ting applied the brakes but it was too late.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Dillon Kok said: "The e-scooter impacted the left side of the victim, causing her to fall and hit her head on the ground. After the collision, the victim sat on the footpath and appeared dazed.
"She was helped by pedestrians to rest on the seats of the bus stop. It was observed that her eyes were open but she was not responsive. She also vomited yellowish fluid a few times."
Ting and his girlfriend remained at the scene and alerted the police. An ambulance took Madam Ang to Changi General Hospital, where she was found to be bleeding in her brain.
The court heard that her medical, hospitalisation and therapy fees have come up to more than $107,000. After government subsidies and an insurance payout, her out-of-pocket expenses were $2,470.65 as of August last year.
Ting is expected to be sentenced on Thursday.
On May 1 this year, new laws governing the use of personal mobility devices such as e-scooters were rolled out. As part of the Active Mobility Act, power-assisted bicycles are not allowed on footpaths while e-scooters are banned on public roads.
The speed limits are 15kmh on footpaths and 25kmh on park connectors and shared paths.
First-time offenders who flout the usage rules and speed limits may be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for up to three months, or both. Repeat offenders may have their fine and jail terms doubled.
The new law also sets limits on the size and speed of the devices that can be used on public paths. These cannot weigh more than 20kg each and must have their speeds capped at 25kmh.
Those who use devices that flout these rules can be jailed for up to three months and fined up to $5,000.