News

test Hs afraid of going outdoors

chaihyn@sph.com.sg

He was riding his bicycle across the road when a car knocked him unconscious.

It left the Myanmar national in a coma. When he woke up in National University Hospital (NUH) two days later, he thought he was back in Myanmar.

Mr San Lin, 37, suffered multiple fractures on his skull, face and ribs, bleeding in his head, bruises on his lungs and a fractured foot.

The marine trades worker took the driver to court (see report below) and, last Wednesday, managed to get some closure when the case was settled out of court.

Court documents showed that on July 9, 2011 at about 10.20pm, Mr San Lin was cycling back to his dormitory at Jurong West Street 24 together with a colleague after buying groceries at Boon Lay Place shopping centre.

In his affidavit, he said they had stopped at the junction of Jurong West Avenue 2 and Jurong West Street 23 and waited for the traffic light to turn green.

When it turned green in their favour, they cycled across the pedestrian crossing. As he was approaching the other end of the road, a car suddenly hit him.

With help from pedestrians, his co-worker, who witnessed the accident, called for an ambulance.

He was taken unconscious to NUH.

In his defence, the driver Shaun Lim U-Kwang denied that he had been negligent.

SOUNDED HORN

He said he had slowed down as he approached the junction and sounded his horn, but Mr San Lin continued to cycle across the junction.

According to the documents filed by the defendant, another cyclist, who was on the opposite side of the road, said Mr San Lin and his colleague did not stop at the junction to wait for the traffic light to change. Instead, they continued to cycle across the pedestrian crossing although the traffic light was red.

He also said the driver sounded his horn and braked, but still collided with Mr San Lin, who suffered serious head injuries and lost some of his cognitive abilities.

Last Wednesday, on the opening day of the one-day trial, both parties agreed to settle the case.

The defendant agreed to bear 80 per cent of all damages payable while Mr San Lin, who was represented by lawyer N. Srinivasan from Hoh Law Corporation, will bear the rest.

He was also given a warning by the Traffic Police for cycling across the road.

Recalling the day when he regained consciousness, he said through interpreter Wae Lu Thein: "I was curious why I was in the hospital. I called my co-worker and he told me what had happened."

His brother, who was working in Malaysia, visited him about two weeks later.

That was when they broke the news to his wife, who is in Myanmar with his twin sons aged 12, he said.

Mr San Lin hopes to return to Myanmar once things are settled.

He is still working with the same employer, but has been given light duties such as washing his co-workers' laundry.

He suffers from epilepsy and seizures because of his head injuries.

His medical reports show that he had lost consciousness once, about a month after the accident. He was readmitted for a month.

He has suffered at least two seizures - once when he was watching TV and another when he was cooking.

About a year after the accident, he collapsed at a pedestrian crossing, where an ambulance was called.

One of his concerns now is the frequent seizures that he suffers, which can be as often as twice a month, he said. He is now afraid to venture outdoors, in case he collapses suddenly and puts himself in danger.

He told TNP through the interpreter: "I am afraid I may die from epilepsy one day."

DRIVER FINED $800

The driver of the car that knocked down Mr San Linwas charged in court on June 27 last year.

Mr Shaun Lim U-Kwang pleaded guilty to a count of inconsiderate driving.

He was fined $800.