Van driver who hit elderly pedestrian in fatal accident fined $10k and banned 5 years

Elena Chong
The Straits Times
Monday, Feb 27, 2017

A market stallholder was driving his van along Outram Road when he failed to keep a proper lookout and hit an elderly pedestrian who died from multiple injuries 10 days later.

On Monday (March 27), David Joseph John, 62, was given the maximum fine of $10,000 and banned from driving for five years for causing the death of Mr Wong Fook Hin, 79, through his negligence on Nov 13, 2015.

Investigation showed that John was driving his van along the fourth lane of Outram Road towards Cantonment Road that evening.

As he was driving by a row of shops on his right, he approached a corner shop and looked to his right for vehicles coming out of a side road.

He failed to keep a proper lookout ahead, and did not see Mr Wong crossing the road from the left side of the road. Mr Wong was already walking on the fourth lane when John's van struck him.

An eyewitness was in his car waiting for a parking space when he saw the van drive past him and hit the pedestrian. He saw that after the collision, the van and Mr Wong surged forward for some distance before coming to a stop.

Mr Wong was taken to Singapore General Hospital where attempts were made to treat and resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at 3.04am on Nov 23 that year.

In mitigation, John's lawyer Jason Lim said the pedestrian was jaywalking across the road within a pedestrian "no crossing" zone. There was a traffic light controlled crossing barely 20m away.

He said there was no aggravating factor in this situation, and that a jail sentence was not appropriate.

District Judge Ong Chin Rhu said John was clearly negligent in failing to notice the deceased who had successfully made his way across three lanes of the road John was travelling on.

Although she agreed with the defence that the deceased was jaywalking, she would not say that Mr Wong was mainly responsible for the accident.

A second charge of causing grievous hurt to a nine-year-old cyclist along Jalan Bukit Merah was taken into consideration in sentencing.

The prosecution, which had sought a two- to four-week jail sentence, is considering an appeal.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death through his negligence.