19-year-old Khairul Hairuman admitted yesterday to causing the death of an elderly pedestrian after he ran a red light and crashed into 73-year-old Mr Tong Cheng Poh while riding a bicycle without working brakes. Khairul was charged with causing death by a rash act after the victim sustained serious injuries and passed away the day after the crash occurred on 13 April 2017.
Khairul represented himself in Community Court and told Judge Eddy Tham during mitigation that Mr Ting would have survived the crash he he been in his 40s.
The teenager added that he did not flee the scene following the crash and that he call for assistance, carried Mr Tong to the roadside and waited for the ambulance.
The court heard that Khairul’s bicycle had not been fitted with brakes during the time of the accident and that his bicycle was not designed to be used on roads such as the Lorong Ah Soon road where the accident occurred.
On the day of the crash, Khairul had been cycling between the two lanes at Lorong Ah Soo amid heavy traffic on both sides. As he approached a pedestrian crossing, Khairul mistakenly thought the light had turned green for him, despite the fact that a bus was blocking his view. Khairul sped up and crashed into Mr Tong.
A week before the accident occurred, Khairul had removed the front brakes on his bicycle which had been defective and did not replace the brakes. An inspection of his bicycle also showed the absence of rear brake levers or calipers but found a rear “coaster brake” that operates by turning the pedals backwards only at very slow speeds.
Arguing for a four month jail term, Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao said: “Without either front or rear brakes, the accused would normally use his right foot to step on the rear tyre of the said bicycle to slow down, and it would take at least four to five seconds to stop completely.”
Interestingly, Khairul is described to be a delivery rider for food delivery company Deliveroo in court documents but Deliveroo has denied that he is an employee and clarified that he was not making a delivery when the accident occurred. The company added: “We will work with the authorities however we can to assist them in this matter. This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with Mr Tong’s family at this very difficult time.”