Singapore

Cabby jailed after he knocked down student at zebra crossing

A taxi driver who hit a student at a zebra crossing in 2017, leaving her with traumatic brain injuries, was yesterday sentenced to three months' jail and banned from driving for two years. Cabby Eu Hock Leng, 64, had pleaded guilty to one count of committing a rash act.

The girl was in the midst of her A-level exams at the time of the accident, and not only missed the rest of her papers but has also not managed to complete her A levels since.

The court heard that on Nov 17, 2017, at around 7.30pm, Eu was driving at over 20kmh along Bukit Batok West Avenue 7 when he hit the girl, who was then 18.

He had not noticed the zebra crossing as he was checking his cab's mobile display terminal for a booking.

His taxi mounted the elevated zebra crossing and hit the victim, according to court documents. Eu stopped the car and alighted to check on the victim, who was drowsy and semi-conscious. She also cried and vomited.

A bystander who was at a nearby bus stop when the accident happened called the ambulance.

A friend of the victim who was in the vicinity learnt of the accident and rushed to the scene, where she confronted a frantic Eu.

Eu said he had been driving at a slow speed, and added that his car did not have any dents or scratches from the accident.

"He exclaimed 'aiyah', before saying he had picked up a call and did not see the victim. He lamented that the girl was so close to the pavement, and that she almost made it", said court documents, quoting the friend.

The victim, who suffered brain contusions and fractures and lost her sense of smell, was hospitalised for 15 days. She had to undergo intensive rehabilitation treatment, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

A medical report dated Aug 2, 2018, showed she could still be vulnerable to potential risks for long-term conditions resulting from her injuries, despite recovering from the complications of her acute traumatic brain injury.

She had difficulties multi-tasking and was mildly impaired in terms of planning, comprehending and recalling things heard, as well as in her numerical problem solving abilities, according to the report.

COURT & CRIME