Man, 52, follows jaywalkers while on phone at Sims Ave junction, gets hit by car & dies

The State Coroner reminded people to look at traffic, not at their mobile devices, while crossing the road.

Ruth Chai | April 19, 2023, 10:59 AM

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A 52-year-old man died after he was knocked down by a car while crossing the road and using his phone.

He was following behind two other pedestrians who were also crossing the road at a signalised junction, but he did not realise that the duo were jaywalking.

Blindly followed jaywalkers while looking at his phone

The accident occurred at the junction of Sims Avenue and Aljunied Road around 6:39am on Sept. 17, 2022.

A coroner's inquiry into the man's death revealed that he was waiting at the traffic island to cross Aljunied Road with three other pedestrians.

Started looking at his phone while waiting for traffic light

The man, Mohamad Yusman Bin Sahadan, a deliveryman, was looking at his phone while waiting for the pedestrian light to turn in his favour.

According to the junction electronic eye camera footage, one pedestrian began to jaywalk across the road even though the pedestrian light still showed the "red man".

Moments later, the two other pedestrians also started jaywalking across the road.

Followed jaywalkers while looking at phone intently

Yusman followed them while still looking at his phone intently.

He did not look up from his phone and failed to check for oncoming traffic to his right.

According to a driver who was driving towards the junction, he saw that the traffic light green signal had turned amber.

Car cleared amber light

He decided to slow down and stop, while the car in front of his car managed to clear the stop line and junction while the traffic light signal was still amber.

The junction electronic eye camera footage showed that the car cleared the junction and was approaching Yusman, who was already halfway across the road.

Put down phone but still didn't see car in time

At this point, he put down his hand and stopped looking at his phone.

However, he remained oblivious to the oncoming car.

The car collided with Yusman and thew him forward.

When the paramedics arrived the scene at around 6:45am, they found him face down with a large pool of blood around his head.

They found him unresponsive and pronounced him dead at around 7am.

Traffic light working normally

A forensic pathologist confirmed that Yusman died of his injuries from the accident, and his toxicology report was normal.

A technical investigator who inspected the car opined that there was no evidence to suggest that there was mechanical failure or that the car displayed abnormal behaviour to have caused or contributed to the accident.

The police investigation officer also confirmed that the traffic lights were not malfunctioning and that Yusman had crossed the road while the "red man" was still on.

Yusman's next-of-kin, his ex-wife, said she last texted him the day before the accident and did not think he had suicidal tendencies.

She believed he was on his way to his workplace in the Joo Koon or Jurong area.

State coroner warned against using phone while crossing road

State Coroner Adam Nakhoda pointed out in his findings that Yusman had been distracted by his mobile device and was clearly "focusing intently" on the device whilst waiting at the traffic island.

He said Yusman must have observed, through his peripheral vision, that the other two pedestrians started to cross the road and assumed it was safe to cross or the pedestrian crossing switched to a "green man" signal.

The State Coroner pointed out that even when Yusman was crossing the road, he did not look up from his mobile device, did not check the pedestrian crossing signal, or look to his right to check for oncoming traffic.

He said: "Had he done these three actions, it was very likely that he would have noticed the car driving through the junction in lane 2 and would not have walked onto Aljunied Road. The accident would likely have been avoided if he had taken these actions."

He added that it was "all too common" to see pedestrians waiting at signalised pedestrian crossings or walking across the road whilst "engrossed in their mobile devices".

He added: "It has to be emphasised that this can be dangerous. Whilst crossing a road, pedestrians should always ensure that they look up from their mobile devices and ensure that the oncoming traffic has come to a halt before crossing the road."

After considering the evidence and investigation report, and as there was no evidence of foul play, the State Coroner ruled Yusman's demise as a traffic-related misadventure.

86-year-old driver arrested

The 86-year-old driver was arrested for careless driving causing death.

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