Driver gets 2 weeks' jail after hitting elderly man with car, victim still in vegetative state

A driver was sentenced to two weeks’ jail for hitting an elderly man with a car, with the victim still in a vegetative state eight months after the accident. 

Brian Li Xian Cheng, 30, was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for five years after pleading guilty on Thursday (May 10)  to causing grievous hurt by negligent driving, reports The Straits Times

The victim, Mr Ng Yoo Ay, 72, who used to run marathons, now has to rely on caregivers totally, said his son, sports trainer Ng See Chye.

The heartbroken son said:

“It's sad to see my father like this. The doctor said that he cannot get better anymore. 

“He used to be very active and independent. Now, he has to be turned every two hours and fed through a nasal tube every three hours.

“He is now living with my aunt. My younger brother and I visit him every day. The three of us and a maid take care of him together.”

The elder Mr Ng had been riding his motorcycle along Tampines Expressway towards the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) at around 1.30pm on September 3, 2017, when he was hit by a car that Li was driving. 

Li was driving along the expressway and turned to check his blind spot before filtering into another lane.

However, he failed to ensure that the coast was clear, and as a result, the front portion of his vehicle hit the rear of Mr Ng’s motorcycle.

The impact sent it crashing to the road, and Mr Ng was subsequently rushed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital where he underwent brain surgery on the same day. 

A medical report revealed that Mr Ng sustained critical injuries, which include bleeding under the membrane surface of his brain and facial fracture.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Deborah Tang said to District Judge Shaifuddin Saruwan: 

"The victim was discharged from the hospital Dec 11, 2017, as his condition had stabilised and doctors could do nothing further for him. He remains in a persistent vegetative state today.”

The court heard that Li was not injured.

Li’s lawyer, Mr Wilson Tan, pleaded for leniency for his client, citing that he had not been speeding during the time of the accident.

Mr Ng See Chye also told The Straits Times that he has forgiven Li.

He said:

“I think he must be feeling very guilty for causing this accident.”

Li could have been jailed up to two years, and fined up to $5,000 for causing hurt by negligent driving.