Former SMRT bus driver jailed and banned for rash act which killed Briton

A former SMRT bus driver was jailed for six months and banned from driving for eight years on Monday for causing the death of pedestrian at a signalised pedestrian crossing more than a year ago.

Malaysian Tan Hun Keong, 33, who is now unemployed, had pleaded guilty to causing the death of British consultant Ian James Shelley, 59, by committing a rash act at the cross-junction of South Bridge Road and Upper Cross Street.

He had been making a right turn at about 10pm on Jan 10 last year when his bus hit Mr Shelley even though he had seen the green signal man at the pedestrian crossing along Upper Cross Street.

Mr Shelley died from head injuries about two weeks later.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Leong Weng Tat had told the court that before turning right, the bus had come to a stop as the traffic lights were red.

Just before the traffic light turned green in his favour, Tan noticed Mr Shelley who was about to cross the pedestrian crossing from his right to left. Yet he went on to make the right turn, thinking he could make it without hitting the pedestrian, said Mr Leong.

District Judge Salina Ishak noted that Tan was driving a heavy vehicle and the collision had taken place at the signalised pedestrian crossing where the victim clearly had the right of way. She said Tan took the risk and made the right turn despite knowing the victim's presence just before he crossed the road.

Tan, who is a father of six children, could have been jailed for up to five years and/or fined for causing death by doing a rash act.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.