Ex-taxi driver charged with causing death of NUS undergrad Kathy Ong in Clementi accident

He faces up to two years' jail and/or a fine.

Kayla Wong | January 12, 12:09 pm

The taxi driver involved in the tragic car accident that took the life of National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate Kathy Ong, was charged in court on Friday, Jan. 11, according to Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

Ong, who had imagined her own funeral before her passing, was 19 at the time of the fatal accident. She majored in environmental studies at the university.

NUS student killed in Clementi accident had written profound, eloquent reflection about her own funeral

She was an only child.

Faces max prison sentence of 2 years or fine or both

CNA reported that Yap Kok Hua, 55, was charged with causing Ong’s death by a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide.

For that, Yap faces a maximum imprisonment of two years or a fine, or both.

The crash took place last year on Apr. 19, when Yap was turning right after another car at the intersection of Clementi Road and Commonwealth Avenue West.

A car driving straight then rammed into the taxi’s left side at high speed.

Ong was in the taxi’s left rear seat at the time.

Three of her schoolmates were also in the same taxi.

They were all taken to the National University Hospital (NUH) after the accident, including Yap.

Ong succumbed to her injuries and passed away at NUH later on.

According to The Straits Times (ST), Yap is no longer working as a taxi driver.

Ong’s parents react

Ong’s father, Keith Ong, expressed his unhappiness at the news of the charge in a Facebook post.

In case you can’t see it:

Ong’s mother, Edith Ng, also took to Facebook to express her anger at Yap.

LTA to phase out “discretionary” right turns

Three days after the accident, another fatal collision that happened in the same fashion took place in Bukit Timah that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old woman.

It involved a right turn at the junction of Jalan Anak Bukit and Jalan Jurong Kechil.

Like Ong, the woman who died was seated in the left rear seat.

The two accidents had led to a petition that called for “traffic light rules” in Singapore to be changed to “prevent further casualties”.

Over 13,000 online petition signatures to get LTA to ban discretionary right turns at junctions

More than 16,000 signatures were gathered.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) then announced on Apr. 26 last year that they will be installing red-amber-green (RAG) arrows in the “vast majority of traffic junctions” over the next five years, according to a report by Today.

Motorists can then turn right only when the green arrow lights up.

In cases where the RAG arrows are “not feasible”, LTA will look into “other features”.

Top image via Keith Ong’s Facebook page & Roads.sg screenshot

About Kayla Wong

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