An Indian national working in Singapore as a lorry driver will be repatriated after serving five days in a jail for causing an accident that left a motorcyclist grievously hurt while trying to avoid a cyclist that came in his path. Rasu Edison Raja, 35, was also disqualified on Monday from driving any vehicle for two years, reported TODAY newspaper.
The court heard that on August 8, 2019, Rasu was driving along Kian Teck Avenue in the Upper Jurong Road in the industrial area when he intended to turn right at a T-junction between Kian Teck Avenue and Kian Teck Road. Kian Teck Avenue had two lanes in each direction, divided by a central single white line. At that point, a trailer with its headlights and hazard lights turned on was stationary in the lane nearest the footpath.
Part of the trailer jutted out onto the other lane as two large rubbish bins had been placed next to the pavement. As Rasu approached Kian Teck Road, where he intended to turn right, he saw a cyclist move off from behind the trailer onto the lane nearest the centre dividing line.
However, he did not take the necessary precautions of stopping or slowing down significantly. Instead, he swerved right across the centre dividing line in order to avoid the cyclist. He ended up completely encroaching onto a lane with oncoming traffic headed towards him.
At the same time, Noranis was approaching on his motorcycle from the opposite direction in that lane, with the headlights turned on. Noranis’ head struck the lorry’s right side mirror and his motorcycle collided into the other vehicle’s front right bumper. He then fell off his bike.
The bike had become stuck to the lorry’s front right tyre, causing the lorry’s steering wheel to lock. It continued veering right and eventually came to a stop. Noranis had suffered a traumatic brain injury, several fractures including his skull and collarbone and multiple superficial abrasions. He was taken to the National University Hospital in an unconscious state where he underwent emergency surgery and another procedure. Noranis was warded for 37 days in total before being discharged with 99 days of hospitalisation leave.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Goh Qi Shuen sought at least five days’ jail and 18 months of disqualification, noting that Rasu had no prior criminal convictions but has maintained a poor driving record. In mitigation, Rasu’s lawyer John Vincent said that his client was remorseful and wished he could turn back the clock and press his emergency brake to avoid injuring the victim. He had been in a state of panic when he saw the cyclist in front of him.
The judge had also asked if any enforcement action had been taken against the cyclist, to which DPP Goh replied that the prosecution was unsure if the cyclist could be identified. If he was traceable, he probably would have been charged, Vincent chimed in.
Rasu could have been jailed for up to two years or fined up to SGD5,000, or both.
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