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Driver behind fatal accident at signalised pedestrian crossing gets jail, driving ban

SINGAPORE — A 30-year-old driver who was behind a fatal accident involving a 66-year-old pedestrian in January was sentenced to three-and-a-half months in jail on Wednesday (Oct 2).

SINGAPORE — A 30-year-old driver who was behind a fatal accident involving a 66-year-old pedestrian in January was sentenced to three-and-a-half months in jail on Wednesday (Oct 2).

Cheryl-Anne Wee Le Xuan, a part-time human resource executive who is married with two young children aged one and four, was also banned from driving for six years from the time of her release from prison.

Wee pleaded guilty to one charge of causing death by a rash act on Wednesday.

The court heard that she failed to look out for pedestrians and slow down when approaching the signalised pedestrian crossing at a T-junction in Bukit Batok at close to 11am on Jan 10 this year.

She turned right from Bukit Batok East Street 21 towards Bukit Batok East Avenue 6 after the traffic signal turned green in her favour, and hit Myanmar national Maw Si who was crossing the road.

Madam Maw Si, who had been living in Singapore for at least 10 years, died from the impact.

In mitigation, Wee’s lawyer Anand Nalachandran told the court that she was unfamiliar with the route and did not expect the traffic signal to be green for the pedestrian as well. She was driving towards Jem shopping mall to run an errand at the time.

District Judge Teo Guan Kee, however, said that he “can’t see why the lack of familiarity” should account for a lighter sentence.

The judge pointed out that the deceased was not in violation of traffic rules, and was already halfway across the road when she was knocked down.

The court heard that Wee has been diagnosed with acute stress disorder, which prevents her from functioning normally, since the accident. Since the diagnosis, she has been on tranquillising and antidepressant medication for a year, Mr Nalachandran said.

The lawyer added that her mental condition may escalate to post-traumatic stress disorder — a more serious diagnosis — if not properly managed.

The prosecution suggested calling for a medical report, which can get the prison to confirm if it can manage her condition.

But Wee, speaking through her lawyer, stated a preference to proceed with Wednesday’s hearing without an adjournment to call for a medical report.

Mr Nalachandran had sought for a jail term of no more than a month, while Deputy Public Prosecutor Susanna Yim sought a four-month jail term.

When making his case, Mr Nalachandran also argued that his client is the primary caregiver to her children and is still breastfeeding, so she is anxious about the prospect of imprisonment.

Wee began her sentence on Wednesday. For the rash act, she could have been jailed up to five years, or fined, or both.

Related topics

crime court accident death pedestrian Bukit Batok

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