A private hire driver who moved his car off before his passenger was fully in the vehicle, causing her foot to be run over and suffer an ankle fracture, was fined $4,000 on Tuesday (8 January).
Former Grab driver Chan Khuan Meng, 69, was also banned from driving for one year.
He had earlier pleaded guilty at the State Courts to one charge of causing grievous hurt by doing a negligent act.
Victim was still boarding car
At about 11.20am on 26 May, Chan went to pick up Sridevi Balpanathan, 41, and two passengers Dipti and Kalavadee from the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Kalavadee entered the car’s rear right door, while Dipti and Sridevi entered the car’s rear left door.
After Kalavadee had closed her door, Chan started to move off. But Sridevi was not fully inside the car. She fell to the ground and the car’s left rear tire ran over her foot.
Chan stopped the car and attended to the victim with the help of several passers-by. She was sent to hospital with a left ankle fracture and underwent surgery.
After four days in hospital, she was discharged with 18 days of medical leave. As a result of her injuries, the victim may experience long-term problems with her left ankle joint.
Atypical and unusual case: lawyer
Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Wei Yang had asked for the maximum fine of $5,000, along with an 18-month driving ban.
Chan’s pro bono lawyer Russell Pereira sought a $2,500 fine and a 12-month ban, saying the case was very uncommon.
“Chan had moved his vehicle off after hearing the sound of a door being closed not realising that Ms Balpanathan was still boarding the vehicle from the left rear door. This was wholly due to a lapse in his concentration,” he said.
The accident did not involve the flouting of traffic rules, dangerous driving or any collision, the lawyer added.
Chan is deeply remorseful for the accident and had rendered assistance to the victim. He also went to make a police report after the victim was sent to hospital and cooperated with the Traffic Police in their investigations.
The maximum penalty for causing grievous hurt by doing a negligent act to endanger human life or the personal safety of others is up to two years’ jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
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