Elderly woman dies after motorcycle hits her on pavement
Man was starting motorbike when it surged forward, killing woman
Even walking on a pavement can get you killed.
That was what happened in a tragic freak accident on May 29 last year.
Lim Yang Lian was trying to start a motorcycle on the pavement near Block 727 Clementi West Street 2 when it suddenly shot forward.
The bike hit Madam Ang Siew Eng, 72, several metres away, as she was walking past.
She fell backwards and died days later.
Yesterday, Lim, 55, was jailed two weeks and banned from driving for three years for causing her death by a negligent act.
Court documents said Lim was trying to start his brother's motorcycle, which had a faulty battery and was parked on the pavement, at about 11am that day.
After two failed attempts, Lim managed to start the bike on the third try but could not apply the brakes in time.
He lost control of it as it surged forward.
He had failed to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians and the motorcycle slammed into Madam Ang who was walking on the pavement several metres away.
She fell backwards and hit her head.
Court documents did not state whether Lim was on the motorcycle at the time.
A doctor from a nearby clinic rushed out to perform first aid on Madam Ang, who was later taken to the National University Hospital.
She slipped into a coma by the time she arrived there.
A CT scan revealed a blood clot, bleeding and swelling in her brain.
Madam Ang underwent emergency brain surgery that day to remove part of her skull to accommodate her swollen brain.
But her condition deteriorated and she died five days later on June 2.
Defence lawyer Goh Peck San said in mitigation his client was not riding the motorcycle but merely trying to start it behind a row of shophouses.
He added Lim was remorseful and tried contacting Madam Ang's family but could not reach them.
No one answered the door yesterday when The New Paper visited her HDB flat, which was just a few blocks away from the accident scene.
For causing death by a negligent act, Lim could have been jailed up to two years and fined.
Motorcycle safety tips
The motorcycle that surged forward and collided into an elderly woman could have done so because the user was fully holding on to the throttle while starting it up, said Mr Ong Kim Hua, president of the Motorcycle Safety and Sports Club.
"If it was an automatic transmission motorcycle, starting up while holding down fully on the throttle could have left the user no control over the speed," he said.
Court documents, however, do not state the model of the motorcycle that caused the death of Madam Ang Siew Eng, 72.
Mr Ong advised riders to always be mindful of the direction that their bikes are facing when starting up the vehicle.
"For those manual transmission models, ensure it's in neutral gear. If not, the bike won't start up.
"Also, try not to hold down on the accelerator," he said.