Motorist jailed 5 weeks for causing 79-year-old pedestrian's death

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
Valerie Wee Hui Ling, 44, was convicted after trial of one charge of causing death by a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

A motorist who was making a right turn at a traffic junction crashed into a taxi travelling in the opposite direction which then collided into an elderly pedestrian.

The pedestrian, Habeeb Mohamed Shaik Alawdin, 79, who was on his way to a mosque, had tried to avoid the collision. He died from his injuries in hospital.

At the State Courts on Wednesday (9 January), motorist Valerie Wee Hui Ling, 44, was sentenced to five weeks’ jail and banned from driving for five years after a trial.

Wee, a Singapore permanent resident from Malaysia, is appealing against her conviction and sentence.

On 2 January 2015, Wee wanted to make a right turn from Lower Delta Road onto Tiong Bahru Road. She drove into the right-turn pocket, and the traffic light signal was green.

Taxi driver Tan Kee Chong was driving from the opposite direction along Tiong Bahru Road. The traffic light signal was green in his favour, and he drove straight into the junction.

Wee make a right turn and crashed into Tan’s taxi.

Although Tan had stepped on the brakes, the taxi veered left towards the pedestrian island, where Habeeb was standing and waiting to cross the road.

Habeeb turned and tried to run away, but it was too late. Tan’s taxi crashed into him and then struck a lamppost before coming to a stop. Habeeb succumbed to his multiple injuries in hospital.

At her trial, Wee agreed that she was negligent in failing to keep a proper lookout for oncoming traffic.

But the defence’s case was that Tan was speeding and this broke the chain of causation, and thus Wee did not cause Habeeb’s death.

Meanwhile, the prosecution argued that Wee was a substantial cause of Habeeb’s death, even if there were other factors contributing to the accident.

The maximum penalty for causing death by a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide is up to two years’ jail along with a fine.

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