Man gets jail, driving ban for hit-and-run that fractured biker’s skull, lying to police about drinks he had
SINGAPORE — Several hours after crashing into a motorcyclist and fleeing the scene, Lawrence Lim Pau Law lied to traffic police officers that he had just drunk some beer during lunch. He wanted to mislead the officers into thinking that the alcohol in his breath was from a recent meal and not before the hit-and-run.
- Lawrence Lim Pau Law side-swiped a motorcylist in Bukit Timah on Oct 23, 2019 and fled
- A witness caught him with Lim after a chase, but Lim did not respond and drove off
- Victim suffered contusions, a skull fracture and rib fracture
SINGAPORE — Several hours after crashing into a motorcyclist and fleeing the scene, Lawrence Lim Pau Law lied to traffic police officers that he had just drunk some beer during lunch.
He wanted to mislead the officers into thinking that the alcohol in his breath was from a recent meal and not before the hit-and-run.
The truth was that Lim had two cans of isotonic drinks for lunch, not alcohol.
On Thursday (Feb 4), Lim, 54, was jailed six weeks and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for two years upon his release. He will begin serving his sentence on March 4.
The Singaporean pleaded guilty to four charges that included causing grievous hurt by a negligent act.
The charges he faced did not include drink-driving, and it is unclear if he had any alcoholic drinks right before the accident.
The victim, Nagarajan Perumal, then 31, was a Malaysian who suffered skull and rib fractures and was given 54 days of hospitalisation leave.
District Judge Teoh Ai Lin took into consideration for sentencing another charge of Lim removing his car from a traffic accident scene.
The court heard that on Oct 23, 2019 at about 2am, Lim was driving along Bukit Timah Road towards Upper Bukit Timah Road before Newton Circus. He was returning home from having supper with a friend in the Dhoby Ghaut area.
It was raining at the time and the traffic flow was light.
While driving on the second lane of the three-lane road, he sped up and overtook a motorcyclist from the left.
He then tried to overtake Mr Nagarajan as well, but failed to keep a proper lookout and side-swiped him.
Mr Nagarajan, who had worked in Singapore for the past 11 years, immediately fell off his motorcycle, which skidded on the road. The first motorcyclist whom Lim had overtaken heard a loud impact and observed sparks flying at the collision spot.
He and another driver who had witnessed the accident called the police, saying that Lim seemed intoxicated and had fled towards the Pan-Island Expressway.
Mr Nagarajan was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital in an ambulance, where he was diagnosed with contusions, a skull fracture and rib fracture. He did not get surgery and stayed in the hospital for seven days before being discharged.
FLED FROM FIRST BIKER
Lim fled the scene and the biker who had witnessed the accident gave chase, catching up with him at the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Whitley Road.
He signalled to Lim to wind down his front passenger window, which he did. He saw that Lim’s face was flushed and told him to stop because an accident had occurred, but Lim did not respond and wound up the window again before driving off.
His damaged car was later discovered at an open-air car park in Clementi.
Almost 12 hours later, at 2.30pm, traffic police officers met him at the void deck of Block 128, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh.
He claimed that he had not consumed alcohol before the accident, then further claimed that he had drunk one glass of Tiger beer earlier at a coffee shop around 1pm.
His breathalyser test soon returned a warning result, which meant that he had alcohol on his breath.
He was then escorted to the traffic police headquarters, where another breath test showed that there was no alcohol in his breath.
Closed-circuit television footage also revealed that he did not have any alcoholic beverages at lunch.
MOTORISTS SHOULDN’T OVERTAKE FROM LEFT
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Huo Jiongrui revealed that Lim was fined S$2,000 and given a year-long driving ban in 2009 for drink-driving.
The prosecutor pointed out that Lim had shown “cavalier disregard” for road rules by overtaking the first biker from the left. Motorists should only do so in “very select situations” and this was not one of them, DPP Huo added.
Lim’s lawyer, Mr Sean Say from Keystone Law Corporation, argued that Lim had not done this in a reckless or dangerous manner.
“(Dash-cam footage of the accident) gives the impression that he was gauging to see if it was safe to overtake (the biker) before speeding up… It can also be seen from the footage that (the biker) was riding almost right next to the lane markings,” the lawyer added.
However, District Judge Teoh disagreed that Lim’s culpability was low, pointing out that the biker had chased after him to stop him but he refused to go back to render assistance.
For causing grievous hurt by a negligent act, he could have been jailed up to two years or fined up to S$5,000, or both.