SBS Transit driver who ran over pedestrian in fatal Sengkang accident gets 8 weeks' jail

An SBS Transit bus captain who was involved in a fatal accident in Sengkang last year was sentenced to eight weeks in jail on Tuesday (Oct 9) and banned from driving for five years.

Tan Joo Hong, 61, pleaded guilty to one charge of committing a negligent act.

The fatal accident occurred at the junction of Anchorvale Road and Sengkang East Way on Nov 17, 2017.

Ms Huang Luyang, 38, had been crossing the road when she was hit by the SBS Transit bus.

She was trapped beneath the bus and unconscious when taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where she subsequently died from her injuries.

Tyre marks found on her right upper shoulder and over her back suggested that the victim was run over.

According to The Straits Times, Tan had been driving the bus -- which was carrying passengers -- along Anchorvale Road at the time of the incident.

At about 2.30pm, Tan was turning right at a cross junction into Sengkang East Way when he paused to allow another car to pass through before continuing on his way.

"At this juncture, the accused failed to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians crossing at the designated pedestrian crossing," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Ying Min.

As a result, the bus collided into Ms Huang, who was already more than midway across the pedestrian crossing.

While the prosecutor called for the accused to be jailed for at least 10 weeks, citing aggravating factors such as the presence of passengers on the bus, Tan's lawyer argued for him to be given three to four weeks of imprisonment instead.

Describing Tan as a diligent and hardworking man with a clean driving record in his 25 years with SBS Transit, his lawyer said: "One key mitigating factor was that he took the initiative to apologise, seek forgiveness and seek reconciliation with the deceased's next of kin."

District Judge Luke Tan said he had to keep in mind that Tan was driving a heavy vehicle, which by nature, already posed serious dangers.

He added that in this case, "there's no dispute that the pedestrian has right of way".

Ms Huang leaves behind her husband Ronald Low, 48, and their two young sons, aged two and five.

Mr Low (above), who works at an air-conditioning company, said while he felt sad for Tan, the sentence does little to soothe their pain.

"The two children have lost their mother, and I have lost my wife, there's no way to say whether the sentence was fair or not fair," he added.