Singapore

Jail for bus driver who knocked down nurse

A former bus driver was yesterday jailed for two months and disqualified from driving for five years for killing a pedestrian in an accident in May.

Firdaus Norahim, 30, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of causing death by a negligent act.

The court heard that on May 15, at about 6.45am, the Malaysian was driving an off-service SBS bus when he hit senior staff nurse Lucinia Wong Hang Yee, 30, at Punggol Bus Interchange.

It was previously reported that the senior staff nurse at Changi General Hospital was on her way to work when the accident happened.

Firdaus was driving out of the interchange when he stopped at a T-junction between Punggol Place Road and the interchange.

When the traffic light turned green in his favour, he made a right turn into a pedestrian crossing, taking only a quick glance of two to three seconds to check for pedestrians before making the turn.

CROSSING

At the same pedestrian crossing, the light had also turned green and Madam Wong was crossing the road.

Vehicles turning right have to give way to people using the pedestrian crossing or wait for the right-turn green arrow to come on.

Because Firdaus had not kept a proper lookout for pedestrians, he saw Madam Wong only when she was in front of the bus and could not brake in time.

The bus hit the right side of her body and she fell on the road. She was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where she died.

A medical report said she died from multiple injuries, the most serious being a head injury including skull fractures and internal bleeding, rupture of the liver, extensive pelvic fractures and other fractures in her ribs and limbs.

Pressing for a two-month custodial sentence, Assistant Public Prosecutor Koh Huimin said Firdaus had shown "blatant disregard" for the absolute right of way accorded to pedestrians at signalised pedestrian crossings.

"Such cavalier disregard of the pedestrian's right of way can easily result in traffic and fatal consequences - as in the present case," said Ms Koh.

She added that the act occurred during the morning rush hour, where pedestrian traffic is generally high.

"The defendant cannot claim that he did not realise this because he is a public bus driver. He would have known the road conditions in that area very well," she said.

In mitigation, Firdaus said he truly regretted what happened, especially after finding out Madam Wong had left behind a husband and a young child. His sentence was backdated to May 16.

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