An Indian lorry driver in Singapore, 25-year-old Udaiyappan Vasanth, has been sentenced to a year in jail for causing a fatal accident and for cajoling another person into taking the blame for it. He is also disqualified from taking any driving licence classes for eight years from his release date.
On April 16, Vasanth was driving a lorry in Singapore and he did not give way to a cyclist who was crossing the road at a zebra crossing. This caused a serious accident, leaving the cyclist, Abdul Aziz Syed Mohamed, 64, grievously injured — he was taken to the hospital but did not survive.
Vasanth did not even stop to take the injured man to the hospital. Another passing motorist saw the badly hurt cyclist lying on the road and called an ambulance. The accident victim had a fractured skull and died in the hospital the same day.
Worse still, instead of taking responsibility for his actions, Vasanth persuaded his colleague, 28-year-old Rajendhiran Chelladurai, to take the blame for the accident. Vasanth was a licensed driver when he caused the accident near the Pan-Island Expressway towards Tuas; Chelladurai was in the front passenger seat. The lorry’s in-vehicle camera had a corrupted memory card, and did not capture footage of the accident.
When Vasanth and Chelladurai found out from their employer that the cyclist had died, Chelladurai did not want to take the blame any longer and Vasanth was forced to tell the police what really happened.
During the trial, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Jun Kai said that at the time of the accident, the road conditions — traffic volume, road surface, visibility — were all normal. That would mean the accident was solely caused by the driver’s negligence.
Vasanth admitted to one count each of causing death by driving without reasonable consideration for other road users and intending to pervert the course of justice.