Cyclist jailed for a week after crashing into pedestrian who died five days later
A cyclist, who had collided into a pedestrian who later died, was yesterday jailed for a week. Toni Timo Salminen, 42, had pleaded guilty to cycling negligently, causing the death of Mr Chew Fook Yew.
The Finnish man had failed to keep a proper lookout while he was in Sims Avenue at about 6.15pm on Oct 1 last year and did not notice the 53-year-old crossing the road in front of him.
Salminen was flung off his bicycle in the collision near the non-signalised junction in Lorong 33 Geylang.
Mr Chew fell backwards onto the road, suffering a head injury that required brain surgery. He died five days later.
After the crash, Salminen had attended to Mr Chew until he was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He also made a police report.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Rimplejit Kaur sought three weeks' jail, noting that Mr Chew was not jaywalking.
Defence counsel Manoj Nandwani sought a $6,000 fine and said the case was unique. He said Salminen, who cycled to and from work, had been riding at 15kmh, a reasonable speed.
Giving brief grounds for his sentence, District Judge Christopher Goh said he visited the scene and took into account footage from two police cameras.
At one point, a van had passed Mr Chew while he was crossing the road, and the judge accepted that Salminen might not have seen him walking across the lane until the van had passed by.
The judge also reviewed more than 240 cases with the same offence, noting that fines were imposed in only 8 per cent of them, usually when the deceased had significantly contributed to their own deaths or was the accused's loved one.
He found no significant contributory negligence on Mr Chew's part but said he looked to have crossed onto Salminen's lane at an angle, without looking out for traffic.
The judge said: "With the benefit of hindsight, perhaps it could be said that (he) should not have crossed the road where he did. Whilst I can understand that a cyclist would be more inclined to concentrate on the road ahead... it cannot be an excuse for not keeping a proper lookout for other road users, including and in particular pedestrians."
The judge told Salminen: "I'm sure this will be on your mind for a very long time. What is done is done."