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Family of Singtel director files S$1 million lawsuit against drivers involved in accident that took his life

A claim was filed by Colin Joseph Keane, the deceased’s brother and the administrator of his estate, against drivers Ko Ngak Phweng and Tan Yeow Kim, because of the damages and loss endured by the parents of Mr Keane

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Singapore—A lawsuit has been filed against two drivers who were involved in the accident that ended up taking the life of a Singtel director four years ago.

Donough Andrew Keane died in a vehicular accident on the Central Expressway on May 6, 2015. He was an Irish national who worked as a director of information technology at Singtel.

Mr Keane’s family is now seeking S$1 million as compensation from the two drivers they say are responsible for his death. A claim was filed by Colin Joseph Keane, the deceased’s brother and the administrator of his estate, against drivers Ko Ngak Phweng and Tan Yeow Kim, because of the damages and loss endured by the parents of Mr Keane.

Mr Keane, who had only been 41 at the time of his demise, had been supporting his parents.

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Mr Keane’s brother, who claims the deceased suffered injuries that were “serious and debilitating” to his head, neck, and spine because of the mishap that had been due to the negligence of Mr Ko and Ms Tan, is being represented in Singapore by Nandakumar Renganathan and Shalini Mogan from RHTLaw Taylor Wessing.

How the accident happened

Mr Keane, along with fellow passenger Anthony Gerard John Hall, was being driven to Cairnhill from the airport by Mr Ko at around midnight of May 6, 2015. The driver did not see the black Mercedes-Benz driven by Ms Tan on the left-hand lane of the CTE, and therefore his taxi collided with the limousine.

Inside the limousine was a man named Charles Robert Allenbach Jr, who was on his way home to Bukit Timah. Unfortunately, Ms Tan had missed the exit to Bukit Timah on the CTE, at the time of the collision, she had stopped on the expressway and was moving against the flow of traffic in order to go to the Bukit Timah exit lane.

Mr Ko told the court in October 2016 that he had failed to see the limousine until it was too late to stop, and that when his vehicle hit the limousine, it moved forward and crashed into a billboard.

Mr Keane was the only fatality in the crash. He was brought to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where his death was pronounced at 2:20 that morning.
Mr Ko received a three-week jail sentence and was forbidden from driving for 5 years, as the court determined that his negligence had caused Mr Keane’s death. For the offence of dangerous driving, Ms Tan received a four-week jail sentence and was forbidden from driving for 5 years.

The claims lawsuit

Because the two drivers had entered guilty pleas, Mr Colin Keane now seeks damages in excess of S$1 million, including a S$1,500 allowance for every month for each of his parents since the death of his brother four years ago and up to 10 years following the end of the lawsuit.

Part of the damages are claims for the burial expenses for the deceased, as well as what it costs to bring Mr Keane’s personal items from Singapore and Australia back to Ireland.

However, Mr Ko is denying these claims, since he is arguing that the accident had been caused by the negligence of Ms Tan, who had not only stopped but was driving the wrong way on the expressway, as well as Mr Keane himself, who was not wearing a seat-belt at the time of the accident.

Ms Tan is also denying the claims from the family, saying that she had her hazard lights on and that she “slowly reversed her car as there were no motor vehicles approaching her from the rear”.
She said that it was Mr Ko’s fault that the accident occurred, as he had been speeding, and was not watching the road properly.

In her defense papers, Ms Tan also mentions that Mr Keane had not been wearing a seat-belt at the time of the collision. And while she had entered a guilty plea to having driven dangerously, this is not tantamount to an admission of liability.

On Wednesday, June 19, a High Court pre-trial conference will be held. -/TISG

 

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