File photo of the State Courts in Singapore. (Photo: CNA/Calvin Oh)
SINGAPORE: A lawyer was jailed for two weeks on Friday (Apr 29) for causing the death of a motorcyclist in an accident on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) in 2018.
Laurence Goh Eng Yau side-swiped the motorcycle of Mr Wong Yew Wai when he abruptly swerved to avoid a collision with the car ahead of him.
The impact pushed Mr Wong, who was 33 at the time, out into the path of an oncoming lorry in the next lane. He was run over by the lorry and pronounced dead at the scene.
Goh, now 57, pleaded guilty to one count of negligent driving earlier this month.
He had admitted to failing to keep a proper lookout for traffic conditions and to keep a safe following distance from the car ahead of him at the time.
Goh is a lawyer and the sole proprietor of his eponymous legal practice, according to a search on the Ministry of Law’s website.
He was heading to Bukit Panjang from his office when the accident took place near exit 7A of the AYE at about 5.20pm on Sep 12, 2018. The exit is near Portsdown Road in the direction of Tuas.
After his abrupt swerve, another two cars behind him crashed into each other and hit the two cars in front.
Deputy Presiding Judge S Jennifer Marie on Friday also banned Goh from driving for five years.
She said that Goh had displayed “genuine remorse and contrition”, noting that he handed his licence over to the investigating officer and had stopped driving since the accident.
Judge Marie also noted that defence lawyer Ramesh Tiwary had asked the court to consider that Goh checked his blind spot before abruptly swerving.
“A life was lost and you carry the burden of knowing that your negligent act had resulted in this,” said the judge.
“This serves as a timely reminder of the importance of abiding by traffic rules and being alert in driving.”
Additionally, Judge Marie said that she considered Goh’s medical conditions in assessing the length of imprisonment he should serve.
The court heard that Goh has prescriptions for medication to treat angina, a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart.
Goh’s wife was present in court, and he requested to speak to her before being led away to start serving his sentence.
Those convicted of causing death by a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide can be jailed for up to two years, fined or both.
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