Singapore

Van driver jailed for causing fatal accident

A van driver was sentenced to six weeks' jail and disqualified from driving for five years yesterday after causing a fatal accident by driving negligently.

Ho Koon Eng, 69, was driving along Jalan Sultan at about 11.50pm on Jan 18 with his wife seated next to him.

They were on their way to InterContinental Hotel to pick up hotel workers and ferry them home.

When Ho reached the junction of Jalan Sultan and Victoria Street, he started to turn right.

GREEN LIGHT

The traffic light was green and he stopped in the middle of the junction to give way to oncoming vehicles.

He then continued to make the right turn when there were no more oncoming vehicles, the court heard.

Ms Duan Xianyi, 53, was also crossing the road at the time, while the green man was blinking.

As Ho was turning into the extreme right lane of the three-lane Victoria Street, he failed to keep a proper lookout and his van hit her, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao.

Ms Duan was dragged by the van for 14m before Ho stopped driving.

Mr Lee said: "As he was shocked by the impact, the accused applied his brakes only after the collision."

She was found lying dead under the van, near the rear right tyre.

Ms Duan's autopsy report found that she died from blunt force chest injuries, consistent with those sustained by traffic accident victims.

Mr Lee urged the court to sentence Ho to six weeks' jail and disqualify him from driving for five years.

He added that Ho was caught beating red lights five times between 2002 and last year. These offences were later compounded.

Ho had ample time to see Ms Duan as she had crossed two lanes before the van hit her, Mr Lee said.

Ho pleaded for leniency and said he was very sorry for committing the offence.

For causing a fatal accident by negligent driving, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined, or both.

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