2 years' jail for BMW driver who ran red light and hit Secondary 2 boy in Punggol, killing him

Christine Tan
The Straits Times
Dec 18, 2023

A motorist who ran a red light and collided into a 14-year-old boy, who subsequently died in hospital, has been sentenced to two years’ jail.

Firhan Aqil Mohamad Amran, 25, pleaded guilty on Dec 18 to one count of dangerous driving causing death.

He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licence for 10 years after his release from prison.

The accident at about 11.30am on Oct 10, 2022, which killed Secondary 2 student Adriel Choo, happened near Sumang Walk in Punggol.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Melissa Heng told the court that Adriel left school to go home at about 10.30am that day as school hours were shorter during the examination period.

At a pedestrian crossing in Sumang Walk towards Sumang Link, he began crossing the road when the traffic light signal for pedestrians turned green.

Firhan, who was on his way to his father’s home, ran the red light and his vehicle collided into Adriel.

A woman who was crossing the road the same time as Adriel saw him flung a distance from the car. Seeing that he was bleeding from his ears and unresponsive, she called 995 for help.

Adriel was taken to Sengkang General Hospital, where doctors found that he had a skull fracture and traumatic brain injury. He died of pneumonia on Nov 2, 23 days after the accident.

Defence lawyer Justin Ng of Kalco Law said Firhan’s attention had been drawn to the green traffic light signal at a major traffic junction – which was located beyond the pedestrian crossing where the accident happened – and believed he had the right of way to proceed straight.

This was an error of judgment, rather than consciously taking a risk to beat the red light, which would amount to rashness or recklessness, said Mr Ng.

However, Mr Ng said this was not highlighted as a mitigating factor for his client, but merely to contrast with other cases of dangerous driving where the drivers were found to have acted rashly.

The lawyer also noted that Firhan, who works at an events management company, was not speeding at the time and had a clean driving record.

Said Mr Ng: “Ultimately, (Firhan) recognises that there is nothing he can say or do that will ever be sufficient to make up for the tragic loss of (Adriel’s) life.

“This painful episode will remain an indelible scar that (Firhan) will carry with him throughout his sentence and throughout his life. (He) sincerely apologises to the victim’s family and hopes that they will find closure.”

In a previous message to family and friends after the accident, Adriel’s mother, who wanted to be known only as Madam Yong, described her son as a very well-behaved and kind boy who studied hard despite his dyslexia.

Madam Yong added then that the family had only recently received the results of Adriel’s streaming exams and that he had got his first-choice subject combination.

She said: “Life is so unpredictable and we have to cherish every single moment with our family.”

The Straits Times

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