Ex-cabby admits actions led to death of NUS student in Clementi crash
He made right turn despite speeding car
He knew that a car was speeding towards the junction from the opposite direction.
But taxi driver Yap Kok Hua, 55, still made the discretionary right turn that caused the death of a passenger, National University of Singapore (NUS) student Kathy Ong Kai Ting, 19.
The oncoming car driven by Ng Li Ning, 21, ploughed into Yap's taxi, and the accident also left Yap's three other passengers - Mr Zon Lim Thou Jing, Mr Lim Jin Jie and Mr Ting Jun Heng, all 22 at the time - with lasting injuries, the court heard.
Yap, who is no longer a cabby, pleaded guilty yesterday to causing Ms Ong's death by a negligent act and causing grievous hurt to the three men by a negligent act. Two other charges were taken into consideration.
Yap had picked up the four passengers from Clementi Mall on April 19 last year at about 7.30pm and was driving them to Tembusu College in NUS.
He did not ensure his rear passengers were wearing seat belts before moving off. Ms Ong was sitting at the rear left of the taxi.
Driving in the right-most lane, Yap stopped at the signalised cross junction of Commonwealth Avenue West and Clementi Road and saw the traffic light turn green.
But before the green right-turn arrow came on, Yap moved forward into the right-turn pocket, stopping and checking for oncoming vehicles.
He saw Ng's car coming towards him at high speed, but he made the turn anyway.
There was a 70kmh speed limit. But Ng was barrelling down at an estimated 92kmh to 97kmh and slammed into the taxi, which then hit another car.
The court heard that the fatal accident would likely have been avoidable if Ng's car had kept to the 70kmh limit.
OTHER DRIVER CHARGED
The New Paper understands Ng has been charged and will be dealt with later.
All four passengers were taken to the National University Hospital, where Ms Ong died of multiple injuries three hours later.
Front passenger Zon Lim suffered a brain injury and multiple glass wounds on his face.
Rear-right passenger Lim Jin Jie suffered a bleeding outside the brain and a spinal fracture.
Both were hospitalised for eight days.
Mr Ting, the rear-centre passenger, suffered a traumatic brain injury, injury to his kidney and multiple fractures.
Warded for 54 days, he was in a vegetative state at the start but his condition improved. He is still undergoing rehabilitation.
Seeking eight weeks' jail and a five-year driving disqualification for all classes of vehicles, Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh said the headlights of Ng's car were clearly visible to Yap and junction was well-lit.
Representing Yap pro bono, lawyers Josephus Tan and Cory Wong from Invictus Law Corporation asked for a shorter jail term of six weeks.
Mr Tan told the court: "This tragedy could have been avoided if Mr Ng… kept to the speed limit of the road."
Yap will be sentenced on Aug 2.