Van driver in fatal accident gets 6 weeks' jail for negligent driving

  Ho Koon Eng, 69, was driving along Jalan Sultan towards InterContinental Hotel at about 11.50pm on Jan 18, with his wife seated next to him.
Ho Koon Eng, 69, was driving along Jalan Sultan towards InterContinental Hotel at about 11.50pm on Jan 18, with his wife seated next to him. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE MAP

SINGAPORE - A van driver was given six weeks' jail and disqualified from driving for five years on Thursday (July 6) for causing a fatal accident by negligent driving.

Ho Koon Eng, 69, was driving along Jalan Sultan towards InterContinental Hotel at about 11.50pm on Jan 18, with his wife seated next to him. They were on their way to pick up hotel workers and ferry them home.

When Ho reached the traffic junction at Jalan Sultan and Victoria Street, he started to turn right.

The traffic light was green and he stopped in the middle of the junction to give way to oncoming vehicles. He then continued to make the right turn when there were no more oncoming vehicles, the court heard.

Ms Duan Xianyi, 53, was also crossing the road at the time, while the green man was blinking. As Ho was turning onto the extreme right lane of the three-lane Victoria Street, the van hit her, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao.

Ms Duan was dragged by the van for some time before Ho stopped driving.

DPP Lee said: "As he was shocked by the impact, the accused applied his brakes only after the collision. The van stopped after dragging her for about 14m from the pedestrian crossing. She was found lying under the van, near the rear right tyre, and was pronounced dead at the scene."

The court heard that at the time of the accident, the weather was clear, the road surface was dry, visibility was fair and the flow of traffic was light.

Ms Duan's autopsy report found that she died from blunt force chest injuries, consistent with those sustained by traffic accident victims.

DPP Lee urged the court to sentence Ho to six weeks' jail and disqualify him from driving for five years. He added that Ho was caught beating red lights five times between 2002 and last year. These offences were later compounded.

Ho had ample time to see Ms Duan as she had crossed two lanes before the van hit her, DPP Lee said.

Ho, who did not have a lawyer, pleaded for leniency and said he was very sorry for committing the offence.

For causing a fatal accident by negligent driving, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined, or both.