Serene Ng Tsui Hong had left home on the morning of 25 August 2017 with the intention of carrying out the volunteer work she had taken leave for. The 41-year-old civil servant carried with her the art materials intended for the children she was working with.
Ng never reached her destination. At around 8am that morning, while standing along Jurong West Street 42, Ng was struck by a car driven by 28-year-old Singaporean Galistan Aidan Glyn – which sent her flying onto the road. She later died in hospital.
Glyn, who had been out all night with his friends and had gone for 20 hours without sleep when the accident took place, was jailed three months and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for five years at the State Courts on Monday (21 May).
The student had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of causing Ng’s death through a negligent act by failing to keep a proper lookout and failing to maintain proper control of the car.
Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Ng’s elder brother, 48-year-old Cisco security officer Ng Chin Khoon expressed dismay over Glyn’s sentence.
“If I’m not in a condition to operate a car, I am operating a killing machine. How can he drive the vehicle? He should be disqualified for life,” said the elder Ng, who described his late sister as a “friendly and helpful” person who often did social work.
Ng, who attended Monday’s court session with his father, said that Glyn had turned up to his sister’s funeral but was “aggressive” when questioned over the circumstances surrounding the accident.
According to Ng, his late sister was single and had worked at the Ministry of Defence for 10 years. She also has a 17-year-old goddaughter.
Out all night
According to court papers, on the night before the accident, Glyn had gone out with friends and stayed out all night.
At around 6.45am, he had breakfast at a coffeeshop with two friends before driving them home. He was heading to his parents’ home at Jurong West Street 42, heading along the two-way street in the direction of Jurong West Avenue 1, when the accident occurred at around 8.10am.
Ng had just crossed the road towards Hua Yi Secondary School and was standing on a grass patch by the road when Glyn lost control of the Toyota Altis he was driving. The vehicle swerved abruptly, mounted the kerb on its left and hit Ng, who was flung into the air before landing on the road.
Ng fell unconscious and was conveyed to Ng Teng Fong Hospital where she died of head and chest injuries.
Glyn later admitted to the authorities that he had felt sleepy and tired prior to the accident. He had been awake since 11am the day before and had not slept for 20 hours, past media reports said.
Video footage that captured the incident from a witnesses’ in-car camera and a police camera installed at the lift landing of a nearby HDB block were tendered to court.
As a result of the impact, Glyn’s car’s windshield was smashed and its bonnet was bent inwards. Its front left tyre was also deflated.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Senthilkumaran Sabapathy said the case was “not an ordinary road traffic accident” but was “preventable” as Ng was already out of the way of traffic.
Glyn’s lawyer Asiyah Ahmad Arif, however, pointed out that all cases of negligence were preventable. She said that her client was not driving rashly and had not mounted the kerb intentionally.
She said that it was not unusual for Glyn to go with little sleep, though not in the case of driving. Asiyah said that her client was remorseful and wanted to turn over a new leaf.
Addressing the court, Glyn said, “I would like to apologise to the deceased’s family.”
When asked if he would taken further action, the elder Ng said outside the courtoom, “I don’t think the sentence is justifiable, I will follow up with my lawyer and see what we can do.”
“Until now I cannot accept this, she is such a helpful person,” said Ng of his late sister.
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