Delivery driver jailed for hit-and-run while drunk, causing death of 70-year-old
SINGAPORE — A delivery driver who had consumed more than six cups of vodka decided to drive a rental lorry home despite having remained awake for more than 22 hours.
While inebriated, Muhammad Amin Mohamed Noor, 29, sped on the road and drove directly into the rear of a 70-year-old motorcyclist on 21 February last year.
The impact flung Ho Swee Hai onto the road where he later died.
But instead of stopping to assist Ho, Amin drove off and went to sleep at home. After he woke up, he sent the lorry to a workshop in order to cover up the fact that he had been in a collision.
Amin was jailed for two years on Friday (7 August) and disqualified from driving for 10 years after he pleaded guilty to one count of causing death through a rash act by driving while sleepy and under the influence of alcohol, at a speed which exceeded the road speed limit by up to 30kmh.
He also pleaded guilty to failing to stop his lorry after the accident occurred, failing to render assistance to Ho and obstructing the course of justice by trying to cover up the damage on the lorry.
Minutes after his collision with Ho, Amin also drove into an SBS bus. However, he left without taking any steps to inform the bus driver of the incident.
Amin was also charged in relation to this incident and the charges were taken into consideration for his sentencing.
Drank pure and mixed vodka before driving
Amin works as a driver for wholesale firm MoBetter Food Wholesaler. On 20 February last year, he reported for his shift at 8am and ended work at 10pm. He then drove the company lorry to Yishun where he met a friend to drink alcohol.
He drank six to seven cups of vodka, containing either pure vodka or vodka mixed with soft drinks, until 5am the next day. Amin then dropped his friend off before driving home. By this time, he had been awake for more than 22 hours and was feeling tipsy as well.
While driving his lorry along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 towards Upper Thomson Road, Amin sped at between 90kmh and 100kmh, even though the speed limit was 60kmh.
At around 6.02am, while travelling straight on the road, Amin failed to keep a lookout and banged into the rear of Ho’s motorcycle without slowing down. Ho was flung from his motorcycle onto the road where he lay motionless.
Instead of stopping, Amin drove off. Ho was later found by two passers-by, who saw that he had already died. One of them used a black plastic bag to cover Ho’s body.
The police were alerted and the attending paramedics pronounced Ho dead at 6.15am. His cause of death was certified to be from multiple injuries.
Accused went home to sleep
Meanwhile, Amin stopped his lorry at the side of the road for five minutes to compose himself before heading home. While driving, he swerved from left to right in a reckless manner. At about 6.10am, he collided into an SBS bus along Upper Thomson Road towards Lornie Road.
After Amin reached home, he fell asleep and woke up at 10.30am. As he headed to the lorry, he noticed the damage, but decided to deliver goods from 11am to 3pm. He then called his employer, lying that he had hit a lamp post the night before.
His employer advised him to send the lorry, which was rented by the company, to an authorised workshop. Amin did so with the intention of covering up his collision with Ho the night before. The lorry was towed away around 4pm to 6pm that day.
Investigations were delayed as more time had to be spent tracking the whereabouts of the lorry. The investigation officer was able to identify the lorry and Amin at about 6.10pm and the lorry was recovered 20 minutes later - before it had undergone repair works.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Kee pointed out that Amin had been speeding significantly above the speed limit and that he had been intoxicated, as part of his aggravating factors.
The prosecution sought at least 26 months’ imprisonment and a driving disqualification order of at least 10 years.
Amin, who represented himself, said that he regretted his actions and that he had trouble finding a job. He said he was supporting two aging parents and asked for a lighter sentence.
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