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Lorry driver jailed and banned for causing elderly pedestrian’s death

SINGAPORE – A lorry driver was making a right turn when he failed to give way to an elderly woman at a pedestrian crossing, a court heard. Sakthivel Thiruselvam’s lorry struck Madam Kamariah Mohamed Lani, 71, and ran over her as he was making a right turn at the signalised T-junction of Choa Chu Kang Street 51 at 11.54am on Oct 16, 2016. On Friday (Feb 10), the 30-year-old Indian national was jailed for six weeks and banned from driving for five years for causing death by doing a negligent act while driving along Choa Chua Kang North 5.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jotham Tay told the court that Sakthivel, who was on his way to find a toilet, had stopped his lorry at the right lane of Choa Chu Kang North 5 at the junction with Choa Chu Kang Street 51. When the traffic lights turned green, he began to move forward towards the right. Madam Kamariah, who underwent knee surgery and was using a walking stick, was on her way home on foot after seeing a doctor.

The signal was green in her favour when she was crossing Choa Chu Kang Street 51. Sakthivel saw a few pedestrians crossing the road ahead of Madam Kamariah. When he saw that the other pedestrian had passed the front of his lorry, he did not check whether Madam Kamariah had successfully walked past his lorry.

He presumed that all the pedestrians had done so. He proceeded to make the right turn and collided into Madam Kamariah, who was pronounced dead at the scene shortly later. Pleading for leniency, Sakthivel told District Judge Low Wee Ping that he had been working here for the last eight to 10 years and never had any brush with the law.

He said he had been driving for four years and deeply regretted the serious negligent act.

He said his family was dependent on him, adding that his dreams had been shattered because of the serious incident.

He could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined for causing death by negligence.

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