Man, 68, died from fall on bus after driver braked abruptly to avoid car, Coroner’s inquiry told
SINGAPORE — While on the way home from dialysis treatment, Siah Keok Tiang was about to get out of his bus seat when the driver braked to avoid a car attempting to cut into the lane.
- On Sept 8, 2021, Siah Keok Tiang was riding on bus service 175 along North Bridge Road after receiving dialysis treatment
- He was thrown forward and sustained multiple injuries when the bus driver braked to avoid a car cutting onto his lane
- Siah died eight days later in the hospital
- A coroner's court began an inquiry on March 10 into the circumstances of Siah's death
SINGAPORE — While on the way home from dialysis treatment, Siah Keok Tiang was about to get out of his bus seat when the driver braked to avoid a car trying to turn into the lane.
Siah was thrown forward and sustained multiple injuries, including broken ribs. He died in a hospital eight days later at age 68.
On Thursday (March 10), the first day of a coroner's inquiry into Siah's death, an investigation officer from the Traffic Police's fatal accident investigation team revealed details of what had happened on Sept 8 last year.
The investigation officer said that the police have not decided if either the motorist or bus driver should be prosecuted. At the time of the incident, the police said that a 43-year-old male driver had been arrested for careless driving causing grievous hurt.
That morning, Siah went for treatment at the National Kidney Foundation Dialysis Centre along Upper Boon Keng Road. He left sometime before 11.30am and took SBS Transit bus service 175 to North Bridge Road.
He was supposed to alight at the bus stop before Bugis Cube mall.
The investigation officer said that based on video footage obtained from the bus, which was travelling in the designated bus lane on the far left of North Bridge Road, the car tried to filter to the bus lane where there were broken dotted lines.
Cars are allowed to enter designated bus lanes at such broken lines.
The car, which was about 1.5 car-lengths ahead of the bus just before the accident, had also signalled left to turn into Liang Seah Street, less than 20m before that junction.
The officer added that from the video footage, the car slowed down and encroached on the bus lane “at an abrupt moment”, causing the bus driver to brake to avoid a collision.
The bus driver had told the authorities that he was looking ahead while driving and did not notice the car until it began encroaching the lane, the officer said.
At this point, Siah, who was sitting on the first seat of the bus near the front door, had moved to the edge of his seat to prepare to alight. He then lost his grip on the pole he was holding for support and was flung forward.
When questioned by Siah’s daughter, Ms Siah Hwan Ling, on how her father had sustained injuries “all over” his body, the officer replied that there was no specific footage to show how he landed, but it was possible that he had struck the front of the bus.
State Coroner Adam Nakhoda noted that there was no suggestion his injuries were caused in any other manner.
Siah was admitted to the hospital where he deteriorated and died on the morning of Sept 16, eight days after the accident.
The officer noted that just before braking, the bus was travelling at an estimated speed of 35km/h to 45km/h — within the speed limit of the road. This was ascertained from a video recording in the bus and may not be accurate, the officer added.
Video footage could not determine how fast the car was travelling but it did not seem to be at a fast speed, the officer said. There was also no evidence to show that the bus driver deliberately accelerated to prevent the car from entering the bus lane.
The motorist had held a valid Class 3 driving licence since 2003, while the bus driver obtained his Class 4 licence in 2015.
State Coroner Nakhoda adjourned the hearing after asking the officer to get another clarification report from the forensic pathologist on some spinal fractures that Siah had suffered.
The coroner will give his findings at a later undetermined date.