SINGAPORE — The driver behind a 2019 car accident at Lucky Plaza which killed two women and injured four others said that he may claim trial on Friday (16 July).
Singapore permanent resident Chong Kim Hoe, 64, had previously been charged with three counts of dangerous driving under the Road Traffic Act. His case had originally been fixed for a plead guilty mention, but his lawyer, Kalaithasan Karuppaya told the court on Friday that his client may be claiming trial instead.
Kalaithasan said that he had received the prosecution's statement of facts (SOF) and sentencing submissions on Wednesday. "I have briefly taken my client instructions. There are some facts in dispute to the SOF which I believe will go towards qualifying the plea," he added.
The Malaysian's charges state that around 4.59pm on 29 December 2019, Chong engaged the accelerator while making a U-turn at Nutmeg Road behind Lucky Plaza. He then allegedly drove onto the footway by Nutmeg Road, through a guard rail and onto the service road of Lucky Plaza.
He is said to have collided into Arceli Picar Nucos, 56; Egnal Layugan Limbauan, 44; and Laila Flores Laudencia, 44, causing them grievous hurt. He also collided and caused hurt to Demet Limbauan Limbauan, 37. Through the same manner, Chong is said to have caused the death of Abigail Danao Leste, 41, and Arlyn Picar Nucos, 50.
All six victims are foreign domestic workers from the Philippines.
Videos of the incident were circulated on social media – one appeared to be CCTV footage showing a car moving off from a drop-off point outside the Lucky Plaza apartment block, along Nutmeg Road, before making a U-turn and accelerating onto a footpath.
The car was then seen driving into a group of people before crashing through a railing and landing on a road below which led to the Lucky Plaza car park.
Chong’s charges are under three subsections of dangerous driving. If he is convicted of dangerous driving causing death, he may be jailed between two and eight years. If convicted of dangerous driving causing grievous hurt, he may be jailed between one and five years. If convicted of dangerous driving causing hurt, he may be jailed up to two years and/or fined up to $10,000.
District Judge Salina Ishak fixed a pre-trial conference for the case on 20 August
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