Three weeks' jail for driver who failed to keep lookout and caused fatal accident

SINGAPORE - A 55-year-old man was making a right turn in his car when he failed to keep a proper lookout and encroached into the travelling path of an oncoming motorcycle, causing a collision which flung the 25-year-old motorcyclist off his vehicle.

The motorcyclist died a week later of injuries sustained in the crash, including severe swelling in the brain.

On Friday (May 25), Wiltson Lim Hee Leng, now 57, was sentenced to three weeks' imprisonment. He was also disqualified from driving for five years, from the date of his release.

On Jan 2, 2016 at around 9.15pm, Lim was on the extreme right lane of Jurong West Avenue 1 and the first vehicle at the traffic light junction.

When the light in his direction turned amber, he made a right turn into Jurong West Street 42. The victim, Mr Arvind Rajah Gopal, a Malaysian national, was travelling straight along Jurong West Avenue 1 from the opposite direction in the centre lane.

He had the right of way at that time but Lim failed to keep a proper lookout or give way to him. Lim's car went into Mr Arvind's path before stopping. The two crashed and Mr Arvind was flung off his motorcycle.

He was taken unconscious to the National University Hospital. He had severe swelling of the brain and underwent emergency brain surgery. But his condition failed to improve and he died on Jan 10, 2016.

During sentencing, District Judge John Ng emphasised that the motorcycle had the right of way.

He said he hopes the driving disqualification "will serve a daily reminder to (Lim) that a slight error, a slight rush or a mistake can cost the life of another person".

For causing the death of a person by a negligent act, he could have faced a jail term of up to two years, or receive a fine, or a combination of both.

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