Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

S$7,000 fine, 4-year ban for driver who ran over and killed drunk student lying on road

SINGAPORE — While making a left turn into a car park entrance along Jalan Bukit Merah, Wai Ling Yee failed to notice a drunk man lying on the road and ran over him.

  • Wai Ling Yee was driving along Jalan Bukit Merah and wanted to turn into a car park
  • Hariharan Anoshun, 24, was lying in a prostrate position on the road
  • Wai did not see him and ran over him, thinking she had hit a pothole
  • He had 253mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood, more than three times the prescribed driving limit

 

SINGAPORE — While making a left turn into a car park entrance along Jalan Bukit Merah, Wai Ling Yee failed to notice a drunk man lying on the road and ran over him.

She then reversed over him, thinking she had hit a pothole, until a passer-by told her that someone was trapped under her vehicle.

The victim — Hariharan Anoshun, a mechatronics student at Temasek Polytechnic — was taken to the hospital. The 24-year-old permanent resident from Sri Lanka died from his injuries shortly after.

Wai, 39, was on Friday (July 23) fined S$7,000. She was also banned from driving all classes of vehicles for four years with effect from Friday.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty to one count of causing Hariharan’s death by a negligent act. Her licence had been suspended since the accident in the wee hours of Sept 26, 2019.

The court heard that Hariharan had alighted from a taxi at about 1am.

He proceeded to kneel down and adopted a prostrate position on the first lane of Jalan Bukit Merah, directly outside a service road leading to a Housing and Development Board car park.

Another taxi driver saw Hariharan and stopped his vehicle about 5m away from him. The driver then called the police, saying he suspected that Hariharan was on drugs and that he was using his taxi to block the way.

Wai, who was driving her company car on the first lane and about to turn into the car park, sounded her horn at the taxi driver. He stuck his hand out and gestured at her to overtake him.

She did so and immediately turned left, running over Hariharan in the process.

She did not know he was under her vehicle and reversed over him, then tried to move forward again. She stopped when a passer-by signalled to her that something was under her car.

Hariharan had to be extricated and was taken to Singapore General Hospital in an unconscious state. He died at about 2.40am from multiple injuries caused by the accident.

An analysis from the Health Sciences Authority showed that he had 253mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood. This was more than three times the prescribed driving limit of 80mg per 100ml.

In a post-mortem report, a pathologist noted that he appeared to have been in a stupor or a drunken haze when he lay on the road.

Anyone not used to having the same level of alcohol in their blood and urine would have been “quite intoxicated”, somewhat sleepy, uncoordinated in their movements and have delayed reaction time, the pathologist added.

Closed-circuit television footage showed that Wai would have been able to see Hariharan 1.8 seconds before she ran over him. She did not brake or swerve, suggesting that she did not spot him at all.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran sought a fine of S$10,000, as well as a driving ban of three to five years.

In mitigation, Wai’s lawyer Sunil Sudheesan — who asked for a S$7,000 fine — told the court that she had a “fleeting” period of time to react even though she had a line of sight.

“Unfortunately, it is a case where it looks like alcohol played a part in the very least… Given the unique facts, there can certainly be a lot of scope or leeway to give to this accused person,” the defence counsel added.

Wai could have been jailed for up to two years or fined, or both, for causing death by a negligent act. Offenders can also be disqualified from driving for whatever period the court sees fit.

Related topics

court crime driving ban drunk death negligent

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.