Company director with history of speeding hit pedestrian with car causing her to suffer fractures to spine, arm

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
July 25, 2023

A director of an engineering firm, who has a history of committing multiple traffic offences such as speeding, was driving a car in a dangerous manner in 2020 when it struck a pedestrian.

The victim, a 37-year-old woman who was crossing Upper Thomson Road at a traffic light with the green man signal in her favour, suffered fractures to her spine and left upper arm.

On Tuesday, Lim Hee Joo, 51, a director and shareholder at Wah Son Engineering that makes items for the aerospace industry, was sentenced to 14 weeks’ jail after she admitted to causing hurt to Ms Grace Ong while driving in a dangerous manner on Feb 3, 2020.

Lim was also disqualified from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for 42 months from her date of release.

On Feb 3, 2020, Lim was driving along Sin Ming Avenue towards Venus Drive near Upper Thomson Road sometime after 7am.

She was in the left lane when she decided to make a right turn at a junction to go to Upper Thomson Road.

She drove past a queue of cars waiting to turn right at the turning lane. Her car was still in the left lane when she made a right turn without slowing down.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sunil Nair told the court: “The victim was crossing Upper Thomson Road from Sin Ming Avenue and was about two-thirds of the way to Venus Drive when the accused executed the right turn at the junction.

“The accused failed to notice the victim until a moment before the collision. The accused pressed her brakes after noticing her, but could not stop the car from colliding into the back and left of the victim’s body.”

Ms Ong, who did not see the car, was flung up into the air. She was in pain and could not get up after she fell to the ground. Lim got out of her car and attempted to help Ms Ong.

The victim was conscious when an ambulance took her to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where she was admitted until Feb 17, 2020. She was given 149 days of hospitalisation leave.

Mr Tan Hee Joek, Lim’s former lawyer, said Ms Ong did not suffer permanent injuries and had been recovering well.

Lim is now represented by lawyers Sunil Sudheesan, Diana Ngiam and Joyce Khoo from Quahe Woo & Palmer.

On Tuesday, Mr Sudheesan told the court that their client had obstructive sleep apnea, adding that she had bouts of tiredness but was unaware of the severity of her condition at the time.

He also said that her condition has improved, and Ms Ong has since forgiven Lim.

He added that Lim intends to appeal against her sentence.

In 2021, she was caught speeding and ordered to pay a $300 composition amount.

Before this, she broke the traffic rules 12 times – mainly speeding – between 1992 and 2014, paying between $70 and $500 in composition amount after each incident.

The Straits Times

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