A former taxi driver gets jail and a driving ban over a freak accident at a taxi stand that led to a man’s death

A former taxi driver gets jail and a driving ban over a freak accident at a taxi stand that led to a man’s death

SINGAPORE: A taxi driver who had fallen asleep while waiting in line at a taxi stand woke up to see that the taxis in front of him had moved.

He stepped on the accelerator but was unable to control his car properly, so he rushed forward into three motorcycles with a man standing between two of them.

The victim was thrown upwards before falling to the ground, suffering injuries that subsequently led to the failure of several body organs and his death.

Tan Yeo Seng, 70, was sentenced to four weeks in prison and banned from driving for eight years on Tuesday (Nov 14) over the incident.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of driving without due care and attention, resulting in a crash causing the death of the 51-year-old.

Tan’s lawyer said his client had been a taxi driver for 30 years.

On October 4, 2021, Tan drove to a taxi stand at Paya Lebar Square. There were two taxis in front of him at the stop.

Doze off tan. He later woke up to a honking sound coming from the car behind him and saw that the taxis in front of him had moved.

Step on the accelerator to move forward and fill the empty taxi compartment. There were three motorcycles parked nearby, and the victim was between two of them.

Tan failed to control the taxi properly and swerved forward and collided with the three motorcycles. His taxi stopped only after boarding the platform.

As a result of the collision, the victim fell onto the hood of a tan taxi, before falling to the ground.

He was taken to hospital with multiple injuries, including various fractures. He underwent multiple rounds of surgery but developed complications, including pneumonia. He also had cirrhosis of the liver and needed a blood transfusion.

An autopsy found that he died on October 19, 2021 from multi-organ failure after multiple injuries consistent with those he sustained in a motor vehicle collision.

The prosecution requested imprisonment for a period ranging from one to three months and a driving ban for eight years.

Unusual Incident: Defense

The man’s lawyer, Mr Yek Nay Hwee, said this was a “fairly unusual” incident that did not happen along the way.

He referred to the cirrhosis of the liver that the victim was suffering from, and said that the fractures he suffered would not lead to death in the normal course of events.

Tan has since given up being a taxi driver, he said. Mr Yek said he suffers from multiple health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, and is a skin cancer patient.

He called for a low fine, or a minimum prison sentence if prison was required.

The prosecution said it had already taken the “unusual” facts of the case into account and requested a lower sentence than usual.

For driving without due care and attention, Tan could have been jailed for up to three years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

The period of driving ban stipulated for such a violation is eight years, unless the court finds special reasons to order otherwise.

    (tags for translation) court 

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