Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

Technician jailed for injuring elderly mother and son pair by negligent driving

SINGAPORE – An elderly man was pushing his mother in a wheelchair with the traffic light in their favour when a car ploughed into them.

Madam Tan Chor Quee, 89, suffered a collapsed lung as well as fractures to both her knees, left shoulder and ribs following the accident on Aug 26, 2017.

She died of natural causes – from heart disease – about a month later.

Her son, Mr Sunny Yeo Swee Loy, 72, fractured his toes and had to walk with a crutch for a few days after the accident.

The motorist, technician Ngo Guan Cheng, 60, was sentenced on Friday (Jan 4) to three weeks’ jail after pleading guilty to causing grievous hurt by driving in a negligent manner.

He was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for three years.

District Judge Marvin Bay said that it was “inexcusable” for Ngo to drive the car without noticing the pair on the road.

He added: “The tragic effects of the collision on Madam Tan and to a lesser degree, her son, accentuate the need for motorists to be fully vigilant and more aware of the presence of persons crossing at designated crossings, particularly the elderly, wheelchair-borne, or other movement-impaired persons who may need more time to cover the distance.

“Maintaining a high level of situational awareness when executing a turn at a junction can prevent or mitigate the risk of catastrophic accidents, as was the case here.”

Mr Yeo and Madam Tan were crossing Punggol East at a junction at around 7.30pm on Aug 26, 2017, when Ngo made a right turn after the lights turned green in his favour.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Selene Yap told the court that Mr Yeo spotted Ngo’s car approaching them without showing any sign of slowing down.

She said: “By the time the accused noticed the victim and the deceased, they were too close to the front of his car. While the accused applied the brakes, a collision still occurred.”

The vehicle’s front left tyre ran over Mr Yeo’s right toes and he fell onto the road.

The impact of the collision also caused Madam Tan to fall off her wheelchair.

Ngo stopped his car and an ambulance took the pair to Changi General Hospital.

Madam Tan was later transferred to Tan Tock Seng Hospital on the wishes of her family. Due to her fractured ribs and lung injury, she later developed a chest infection and was sent to the Intensive Care Unit on Aug 29, 2017.

However, her condition deteriorated and she died on Sept 23 that year.

Ngo is now out on bail of $5,000 and he was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Jan 7 to begin serving his sentence.

For causing grievous hurt by negligent driving, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

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