SINGAPORE — She had no driving licence but that did not stop her from stealing a lorry after a night of drinking at Orchard Towers.
Lee Wai Yee, 26, ended up colliding into a taxi, causing its driver to sustain minor injuries. Instead of stopping to check, she drove off and later crashed into a car driven by a Grab driver.
On Tuesday (4 June), the Malaysian was jailed for two months and a week, and disqualified from driving for two years. She pleaded guilty to charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, taking a motor vehicle without its owner's consent, and driving the lorry in a rash manner to endanger human life.
Lee started drinking on the night of 20 February 2017. She ended up at a club near Orchard Road before deciding to return home at 4.40am the next day.
On her way home, she saw a lorry parked at the loading bay of Orchard Towers. The lorry driver had left the engine running with the keys in the ignition, and was delivering soft drinks.
Lee climbed into the lorry and drove it away. The lorry driver returned and ran after his vehicle but was unable to catch up with it. He then called the police.
While Lee was driving along Claymore Road, she swerved from right to left and hit a stationary taxi, causing one of the taxi doors to be dislodged. At the time, a 67-year-old taxi driver was in the taxi.
The impact caused the taxi to ram into the rear of another taxi. The taxi driver jerked backwards at the impact. He suffered from neck numbness and pain from the collision.
Lee did not stop the lorry after the collision. She accelerated and turned into Orchard Road, causing cartons of 100Plus bottled and canned drinks to fall onto the road. She continued driving in the direction of Dhoby Ghaut.
A 49-year-old Grab driver who was in his car behind Lee noticed the lorry's erratic driving manner. He decided to overtake the lorry. Before he could do so, Lee slammed on the brakes, bringing the lorry to a halt.
Lee started reversing towards the Grab driver. The lorry's rear collided into the front of the car but the Grab driver was unhurt.
After noticing that Lee did not respond upon hitting his car, the Grab driver went to confront Lee and saw that she was trying to drive away.
He then shouted at Lee to stop but she did not comply. The Grab driver opened the door of the lorry and removed the keys from the ignition.
The lorry was stationary at the junction of Cairnhill Road and Orchard Road after Lee had driven it for about 2km.
The Grab driver told Lee to step out of the lorry and wait for the police. Lee complied and sat along a kerb.
The owner of the lorry arrived at the scene after he had hitched a ride in a van to look for his lorry.
Lee was arrested and failed a breath test, which revealed that the proportion of alcohol in her breath was 53 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Seeking two to three months' jail for Lee, Deputy Public Prosecutor Jarret Huang said, "Lee was driving a heavy vehicle, cognizant of the fact and did not stop after the first impact.”
Lee's lawyer, Henry Lim, said his client was a young girl who had drunk for hours before committing the offence. She had cried while sitting at the kerb and asked for her mother, said the lawyer.
District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said that Lee’s drunken state was not an excuse and her actions had posed a danger to the public.
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