SINGAPORE: A Malaysian bus driver has been jailed for causing the death of one of his passengers when he drove too fast at Tuas Checkpoint and smashed into a guard rail, which flung the passenger out of the bus, plummeting a height of about three storeys to a grass patch below.
The early morning incident also caused a range of injuries to 11 passengers, most of whom remained inside the bus, which was owned by a private operator. A second person flung out of the bus suffered serious injuries and required three surgeries.
On Friday, Kalaimani Muniandy, 60, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Mok Fei Chen by negligent driving and was sentenced to 10 weeks’ jail. He has also been disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles in Singapore for five years.
Two other charges of causing varying injuries to other passengers were taken into consideration.
Mok, 35, was among 15 passengers on the bus that was travelling towards Singapore in the wee hours of Feb 26.
While Mok’s nationality was not disclosed in court documents, previous media reports about the accident stated that she was a Malaysian travelling to work with her husband at the technology company Hewlett-Packard in Singapore.
Did not slow down
The documents stated that Kalaimani had begun driving his bus at around 2am. He did not experience any technical problems with his vehicle during his journey towards the Causeway.
He was driving at 65km/h along the Causeway and “continued to drive at a fast speed” as he made his way up the ramp towards the arrival hall of Tuas Checkpoint.
On the single-lane, one-direction road, Kalaimani failed to slow down as he approached a left bend.
As a result, he was unable to steer the bus away from the ramp’s right guard rail. This caused the bus to destabilise, skid and crash into the guard rail.
The bus then veered towards the left side of the ramp and finally came to a halt along the ramp before the arrival hall.
Investigations found that at the time of the accident, the “weather was fine, the road surface was dry, traffic flow was light and the visibility was clear”.
As a result of the collision, Mok and another passenger, Ernie Shelvic Anak Sheldon, were flung out of the bus and over the ramp to the grass patch.
Mok sustained fatal injuries from the impact and was pronounced dead at the scene at 4.58am by a Singapore Civil Defence Force paramedic.
Sheldon sustained fractures to her jawbone and pelvis, along with multiple abrasions and injuries to her internal organs. She had to undergo three surgeries and was warded at the National University Hospital for 10 days.
Kalaimani had multiple fractures and was given hospitalisation leave for more than three months.
For causing death by negligent driving, he could have been jailed up to two years and fined. – Today Online
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