Negligent driver caused girl, six, to have brain injury
The taxi driver changed lanes abruptly to avoid hitting a stationary van.
But his taxi hit a car that was carrying a Japanese family of three.
Their car swerved into another taxi before smashing into the road central divider.
Two of the passengers in the car were badly hurt, including a six-year-old girl who suffered a mild brain injury.
Yesterday, the former cabby, Suhartho Hanafi, 61, was fined $5,000 and banned from driving for a year for causing grievous hurt to others by a negligent act.
Court papers said Suhartho was driving alone in the middle lane of the five-lane Airport Boulevard, towards Changi Airport, at 3.10pm on Dec 11 last year.
From about 100m away, he noticed a stationary van in his lane.
The van, which had broken down, had its rear door open and hazard lights switched on.
But Suhartho only decided to change lanes when he was about 20m away, and did so abruptly without keeping a lookout for nearby vehicles.
His taxi sideswiped a Malaysian-registered car.
The car had three Japanese people inside and it was sent veering to the rightmost lane, colliding into a taxi driven by Mr Wong Rongshun, 34.
The car then crashed into the road centre divider and was badly damaged.
Two of the Japanese nationals - Mr Seiichiro Yoshioka, 51, and Ms Emi Yoshioka, 45 - were taken to Changi General Hospital.
Their daughter, Misaki, six, was later transferred to KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
Mr Yoshioka suffered a fracture to his lower back, and was warded for 12 days with 55 days' hospitalisation leave.
Mr Wong was unhurt.
Misaki was treated for fractures to her face and left elbow and also sustained a mild traumatic brain injury.
Fortunately, there was no permanent damage, the court heard.
Yesterday, defence counsel Josephus Tan said in mitigation that Suhartho, who was his family's sole breadwinner, was now unemployed.
He added Suhartho had been a cabby for 14 years and this was his first brush with the law.
District Judge Low Wee Ping told Suhartho in sentencing: "I'm sure you are grateful there were no fatalities in the accident."
Suhartho could have been jailed up to two years and fined up to $5,000.