A 55-year-old taxi driver was charged on Friday with causing the death of 19-year-old National University of Singapore undergraduate, who was one of the passengers in his vehicle.
The taxi driver, Yap Kok Hua is accused of a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide. As per the Singapore Penal Code Section 304A, whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, can face a jail term up to two years, or with fine, or with both.
However, court documents stated that Yap allegedly failed to give way to another car while turning right at the junction of Clementi Road and Commonwealth Avenue West and collided with the vehicle at around 7.30 pm on April 19, 2018.
During the court hearing on Friday, defence lawyers Josephus Tan and Cory Wong represented Yap, who will be back in court in February.
The accident caused injuries to four taxi passengers, who were the students of NUS, including two drivers of both the vehicles. All the victims were taken to the National University Hospital, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, which is almost six to eight minutes away from the accident location but the 19-year-old Kathy Ong died due to her injuries. Police arrested Yap several days later.
As per the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), one of the victims of the road accident, a 22-year-old man was trapped inside a vehicle, which was involved in the accident but successfully extricated using hydraulic rescue tools. He was a co-passenger of the Singapore student who died later.
The video of the accident was posted on the social media platform that showed Kathy Ong was thrown partially out of the window from the rear seat after the collision. The deceased student had been pursuing a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in NUS and showed an interest in biodiversity.
As reported by Channel NewsAsia, after the LTA was asked to review the 'discretionary' right turn at traffic junctions, Chandrasekar, LTA's group director of traffic and road operations said, "Where it is not feasible to implement RAG (red-amber-green) arrows, LTA will look into other features, such as turning pockets, lighted road studs, integrated pedestrian countdown timers, dashed pedestrian crossing lines and 'Give Way to Pedestrian' signs, to ensure safety and smooth traffic flow."