Singapore

Singaporeans in accidents overseas

A S'porean man was sentenced yesterday in a New Zealand court for causing a fatal crash. The New Paper looks at other recent instances of S'poreans involved in accidents overseas...

 

Who Lew Wei Kiong, 30

Where South Island, New Zealand

Casualties One dead, six injured

When Nov 29, 2015

He fell asleep at the wheel and drove into the opposite overtaking lane and into a path of vehicles.

Lew Wei Kiong's moment of fatigue resulted in a fatal crash that killed 39-year-old motorcyclist Craig Alan Chambers. Lew and five others were injured in the four-vehicle crash.

Yesterday, the Dunedin District Court in New Zealand sentenced Lew, 30, to four months of home detention and 200 hours of community work.

The senior analyst at the Energy Market Authority (EMA) was also disqualified from driving and ordered to pay NZ$27,000 ($25,400) for causing emotional harm.

According to stuff.co.nz, Mr Chambers' wife, Nicola, told Lew in court yesterday that "you are solely responsible for my child being fatherless and me being a widow".

"We were supposed to grow old together. Our daughter is feeling so much loss and sadness," she said.

In April, Lew pleaded guilty to aggravated careless use of a motor vehicle causing death and three counts of aggravated careless causing injury.

Lew was on a holiday with a female colleague in South Island, New Zealand, last November when the accident happened.

He was driving a rented red Toyota Corolla from Oamaru towards Dunedin, when he drove across yellow lines and into the opposite overtaking lane, stuff.co.nz reported.

The court heard that Lew was travelling at 120kmh at the time of the crash and did not brake.

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His colleague had to be extricated from the wreckage, NZ Herald reported.

She was airlifted to Dunedin Hospital. A month later, she returned to Singapore for further treatment for a head injury, stuff.co.nz reported.

Judge Kevin Phillips said fatigue combined with speed was a "lethal combination".

"The tragedy unfolded very quickly. You fell asleep and you cannot remember what has occurred," he said in court yesterday.

When contacted, an EMA spokesman told TNP that it was an unfortunate incident and that Lew is now taking full responsibility for his action.

"We will let him complete his home detention and return to Singapore before making any decision about his employment with EMA," the spokesman said.


Who Unnamed Singaporean man

Where Victoria, Australia

Casualties Four injured

When May 24

Five Singaporeans travelling in a grey Nissan Qashqai were involved in a car accident on May 24 in the Australian town of Laharum, Victoria.

The sport utility vehicle (SUV) was travelling near the intersection of Wonwondah-Dadswell Bridge Road and Northern Grampians Road around 4.20pm (2.20pm Singapore time) when it collided with another car, a Victoria Police spokesman told TNP.

Three women in the back seat of the SUV, all aged 23, were injured, an Ambulance Victoria spokesman told the Australian media.

Two were critically injured - one had head and leg injuries, while the other had head, chest and spinal injuries, and had to have a blood transfusion on the way to the hospital.

Both women were flown by air ambulance to different hospitals in Melbourne.

The third woman had neck and back injuries and was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.

The 24-year-old male driver and his front-seat passenger, a 23-year-old woman, had minor injuries.

The driver of the other car involved in the accident, a 24-year-old Australian woman, was not injured.

The Singaporean driver, who was not named in media reports, was charged with two counts of dangerous driving causing serious injury and two counts of negligent driving causing serious injury.

He is out on bail and is expected to appear at the Horsham Magistrates' Court on Aug 24.

- Additional reporting by Darryl Laiu

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