Singapore: Underage driver collides car with motorcycle, causes death of pillion rider

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A 20-year-old man pleaded guilty on Monday for causing the death of a motorcycle's pillion rider after hitting the two-wheeler vehicle by a dishonestly rented car.

The accused Ong Han You pleaded guilty to three charges that include one count of negligent driving causing death and failure to render assistance and cheating. During sentencing, five other charges will be taken under the consideration.

The accident took place on May 21, 2016, when Ong was only 17-year-old. He was driving the rented car, which he got after using another person's NRIC, to drop his 15-year-old girlfriend at around 8 am.

On the day of the accident, when Ong was driving the motorcycle was in front of the car. After the right hand of the accused slipped off the staring wheel, the car collided with the motorcycle and because of the forceful contact both the riders of the two wheeler including the 45-year-old pillion rider flung off the bike.

Even after the accident, the Ong continued to drive the car through the rightmost lane of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, towards Upper Thomson Road, against the flow of the traffic. Later, it stopped after the collision with a taxi.

When Ong came out of the car, he saw that the pillion rider, Lau Lee Kiaw was breathing heavily while lying on the grass patch.

After few moments, when he saw that the injured rider was not responding, Ong abandoned the car on the location and ran away from the scene along with his girlfriend.

The court documents stated that Lau, who was the mother of two children was taken to the hospital along with the motorcyclist, including the taxi driver, who suffered from a few injuries. However, after the death of the woman, the autopsy report stated that the cause of the death is serious chest injuries.

But, on the same day, Ong surrendered himself after his friend Tan Jun Jie, who helped him to the rent the car dishonestly, called him and told the accused that police contacted him regarding the accident.

As reported, further investigation has revealed that Ong received the NRIC document in December 2015 after he got a wallet of an unknown person that contained the driving licence near a club. Later, in March 2016 he asked Tan to rent a car by using those documents. Tan, who is now 22, rented the car from a rental company called Rent My Car.

During the court hearing, Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Lu Jia urged for a total sentence of 13 to 15 months of imprisonment, including a driving ban for eight years. But the defence lawyer, R.S. Wijaya asked for his client to be sent to a reformative training centre.

However, the District Judge Jasvender Kaur adjourned the case to next week and called for a reformative training report.

The problem is, even though the country has strict rules regarding road safety and has implemented several safety measures, rules and regulations, then how such incidents are taking place. Because this is not the first case which involved fake NRIC or driving licence. Earlier similar cases took place and police later found that those vehicles were dishonestly owned or borrowed or rented. To prevent such crimes it is a necessity in-depth review of the submitted documents.