Singapore

Aggressive road behaviour cost motorcyclist his life: coroner

Coroner's inquest into fatal 2015 accident in Woodlands

A case of road aggression cost a motorcyclist his life and his female pillion rider part of a leg.

The accident happened two years ago when he engaged a motorist at high speed along a road in Woodlands, a coroner's court heard yesterday.

State Coroner Marvin Bay found Mr Jason Tan Jia Sheng's death to be a "tragic traffic misadventure" after a two-day inquest into his death on Aug 23, 2015. He was then 22.

Coroner Bay called on motorists to exercise courtesy, restraint and sound judgment even when they face challenging circumstances on the road.

'This sad case underscores the high cost of belligerence and aggression, which can escalate to a 'contest of wills' between assertive and competitive motorists, inspiring heedless and unrestrained behaviour that can yield a tragic outcome," he said.

AMPUTATED

Mr Tan's pillion rider, aged 23, was in a coma for months and had a below-knee amputation of her left leg.

She was hospitalised for five months.

Coroner Bay said Mr Tan and the motorist, Mr Ivan Chew Zong Xian, 29, had built up a "significant level of animosity".

But he found no malicious or deliberate act by either party.

This sad case underscores the high cost of belligerence and aggression, which can escalate to a ‘contest of wills’ between assertive and competitive motorists, inspiring heedless and unrestrained behaviour that can yield a tragic outcome. State Coroner Marvin Bay

The court heard that Mr Tan and his friends had gone bowling at Orchid Country Club on Aug 22, 2015.

They left around 2am to proceed to the place of one of their friends in Woodlands Avenue 4.

While travelling along Gambas Avenue, Mr Tan's friend, Mr Sim Beng Hui, overtook Mr Chew's car.

Subsequently while on the extreme right along Woodlands Avenue 12, Mr Tan overtook him from the centre lane, followed by Mr Chew's car, at a faster speed, while the rest of the group stayed behind.

At the traffic junction of Woodlands Avenue 12 and Woodlands Avenue 4, Mr Sim said he saw Mr Tan looking at Mr Chew.

When the light turned green, both the car and Mr Tan's motorcycle picked up speed and proceeded straight towards Woodlands Avenue 9.

Mr Sim followed suit and after both vehicles passed the intersection of Woodlands Drive 53, Mr Sim saw the car swerve from the centre lane to the left at a fast speed. Its brakes were applied briefly.

It then swerved back to the centre lane, while Mr Tan was behind.

Immediately after this, Mr Sim saw Mr Tan's motorcycle flip upwards and both rider and pillion were thrown off.

The Attorney-General's Chambers will study the coroner's findings before deciding on what action to take.

Coroner's Inquirymotorcycleroad rage