A man was fined S$5,000 for driving without due care and attention, resulting in an accident that killed his 51-day-old daughter.
Court documents stated that the accident happened at the signalised cross junction of Tampines Avenue 10 and 11 at around 9:40am on Sep. 26, 2021.
At that time, the 41-year-old man was behind the wheel while his 32-year-old wife, three-year-old son, and 51-day-old daughter were in the passenger seats at the back of the car.
How the accident happened
The Straits Times (ST) reported that the man's son was seated on the right rear passenger seat beside his wife, who was seated on the left and holding on to their baby.
The man stopped briefly at the right turning pocket at the cross junction before he attempted to make a discretionary right turn from Tampines Avenue 10 towards Tampines Avenue 11.
At the same time, 46-year-old motorcyclist Mohamed Saharuddin Bin Gani was proceeding straight along Tampines Avenue 10 towards Bartley Road East. He was approaching from the man's vehicle from the opposite direction.
ST cited a Health Sciences Authority (HSA) report, stating that Saharuddin had the right of way, but was going at between 97km/h to 129km/h, which is above the 70km/h speed limit.
He collided into the rear left passenger door of the man's car, just as it was making the discretionary right turn.
Saharuddin was thrown off his motorcycle, landed on the ground, and lost consciousness, ST wrote.
Meanwhile, the man's daughter flew out from his wife's grasp, landing on the right rear passenger seat.
The man's wife picked up and checked on the baby, who was not crying and bore no visible injuries, before turning her attention to her crying son.
Following the collision, the man completed the right turn and checked on his family, before he got off the car to check on Saharuddin.
Saharuddin, the man's wife and his two children were conveyed to hospital. The man's daughter subsequently succumbed to her injuries at 3:10pm on the same day.
Court documents did not state the details of her death.
Saharuddin suffered a fracture and open wound on his right thumb, a fracture on the right side of his head, fractures on his nasal bone, as well as a fracture on the inferior wall of his right orbital.
ST wrote that he required surgery for his right eye and to reconstruct his nose, and was given 91 days hospitalisation leave.
Court documents stated that the man's wife had an abrasion laceration over her left elbow and a cut on her left forearm, while their son suffered several abrasions on his right arm and leg.
Plead guilty to one of four charges
The man was handed four charges, one of which was driving without due care and attention resulting in the death of his daughter.
Two of the other charges were for driving without due care and attention, and thus causing grievous hurt. The man faced one count each for the hurt inflicted on Saharuddin and his wife and son respectively.
The man's remaining charge was for not securing his son, who was below 1.35 metres in height, properly with an approved and appropriate child restraint.
He pleaded guilty to one of the four charges, which caused grievous hurt to Saharuddin as a result of driving without due care and attention on Dec. 5.
The three other charges were taken into consideration during his sentencing.
No greater punishment that the court can impose
Deputy Public Prosecutor Huo Jiongrui sought a S$5,000 fine, saying the harm inflicted on Saharuddin was moderate and that the accused’s culpability was low.
He explained that the man had thought the way was clear based on what he saw on the road opposite him, but the view was partially obstructed by a set of low barricades that surrounded the traffic light in front and to the left of the car.
The man's lawyer said his client is extremely remorseful, adding that there is no greater punishment that the court can impose on his client compared to the loss he has suffered from the accident, which continues to haunt their family.
ST reported that the man was visibly emotional and shed tears as his lawyer was speaking.
The man was ultimately fined S$5,000 fine and barred from holding or obtaining all classes of driving licences for five years.
ST noted that Saharuddin was issued a composition fine for speeding.
Top image by Matthias Ang