Truck driver gets jail, driving ban for causing grievous hurt to m-cyclist

A garbage truck driver failed to give way to an oncoming motorcyclist while making a right turn, causing multiple injuries to the rider who had the right of way, a court heard.

For this, Indian national Arumugam Ayyapan, 40, was jailed for two weeks and banned from driving for two years yesterday.

He had admitted to causing grievous hurt to safety officer Mohamed Ashik Othuman Ghani, 43, in Shipyard Road on March 14 last year while making a right turn out from Shipyard Road into Jalan Samulun at about 7.20am.

In seeking a sentence of at least two weeks' jail and at least two years' disqualification from driving, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Si En cited aggravating factors such as the serious injuries caused and the fact that a heavy vehicle was involved. She said the victim suffered a plethora of injuries - facial, spinal, wrist and bilateral rib fractures. He also suffered cognitive and neurological deficits as a result of his traumatic brain injury, which are likely to be permanent.

In all, he was warded for 41/2 months, and was given an additional two months and 12 days of hospitalisation leave.

DPP Tan said there was nothing obstructing Arumugam's view of the victim while he was travelling along Shipyard Road towards Tanjong Kling Road.

Arumugam signalled right, intending to make a right turn into Jalan Samulun. At that time, an SBS Transit double-decker bus made a right turn from Jalan Samulun to Shipyard Road. Arumugam slowed down as the bus made the turn, but did not come to a complete stop.

Instead, he drove the truck into Jalan Samulun, without confirming if the way was clear.

The victim, whose view of the truck was blocked by the bus turning into Shipyard Road, continued riding straight as Arumugam was turning into Jalan Samulun. The truck collided with the motorcycle, rendering the victim unconscious.

Mr Mohamed Ashik was taken to National University Hospital where he underwent multiple operations for his brain injuries, facial and wrist fractures.

The victim, who cannot work now, is still continuing his follow-up in rehabilitation and with some specialists.

Arumugam, represented by Mr A. Revi Shanker, pleaded for compassion and mercy, saying he had been working here for 18 years, the past 14 as a driver.

The married father of two said his family is dependent on his income. He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined up to $5,000 for causing grievous hurt by committing a negligent act to endanger life.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2017, with the headline 'Truck driver gets jail, driving ban for causing grievous hurt to m-cyclist'. Print Edition | Subscribe