On Tuesday (4 May), 22-year-old Hung Kee Boon pleaded guilty to causing the death of an elderly woman, admitting to one charge of causing 64-year-old Ong Bee Eng’s death by a rash act and one charge of riding a non-compliant Personal Mobility Device (PMD) on a shared path.
His PMD weighed 44.2kg and had a 725mm-long handlebar, which did not comply with the Active Mobility Act.
Principal District Judge Victor Yeo will take into consideration a third charge of Hung riding an unregistered PMD for sentencing on 20 May.
Hung currently remains out on bail.
The Fatal Collision
The incident happened at around 10:25pm on 21 September 2019.
Mdm Ong was cycling on her bicycle after buying drinks for her family at a nearby supermarket. She was wearing a light-coloured top and dark shorts at the time and her bicycle has no headlights.
Hung was riding on the cycling path near Block 539 Bedok North Street 3 at a speed of at least 26km/h to 28km/h. Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Dillon Kok noted that Hung was aware that he was riding above the speed limit of 25km/h due to his use of a speedometer.
The man continued speeding while approaching the zebra crossing, before colliding with Mdm Ong.
The elderly woman was flung off her bike and was found unconscious and bleeding from the head. Hung landed on a grass patch and had also sustained injuries.
Mdm Ong was brought to Changi General Hospital after the accident and passed away in the hospital four days later.
Doctors found that she had sustained extensive facial injuries and multiple traumatic injuries including severe brain trauma. Her family had decided against surgical intervention as doctors warned that surgery would be high-risk.
She was later admitted to the surgical intensive care unit and ultimately succumbed to her injuries on 25 September 2019.
First Case Of PMD User Fatally Wounding Another
While the PMD ban had not taken effect then, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that the PMD was non-compliant and should not have been used on public paths as it exceeded the weight and width limit.
DPP Kok mentioned that Hung was aware that his unregistered Dualtron Ultra e-scooter was “grossly non-compliant” with regulations, yet went ahead with purchasing it.
He also argued that there was no evidence that Mdm Ong’s lack of headlights on her bicycle would have prevented the collision.
The prosecution called for at least three months’ jail for Hung in order to deter similar cases from ever occurring.
In mitigation, Hung’s lawyer Kimberley Pah asked the court to consider the suitability of probation as a sentence instead.
Probation usually offered to first-time offenders between 16 and 21 years old. This does not result in a recorded criminal conviction and allows young offenders to continue with their education or employment while serving their sentences.
The defence argued that Hung was “mentally preoccupied” at the time of the incident, having lost his father to suicide, was involved in settling the dispute over his father’s estate and had just learnt about “troubling circumstances” with his father’s girlfriend.
Ms Pah noted that Hung had expressed genuine remorse over the accident and had asked for permission to pay his respect to Mdm Ong’s family. He also experienced “substantial psychological trauma” in the form of suicidal thoughts and “overwhelming feelings of guilt”.
Hung will return to court on 20 May for his sentencing.
For causing death by a rash act, Hung could be jailed for up to five years or fined, or punished with both.
For riding a non-compliant PMD, he could be jailed for up to another three months or fined up to S$5,000, or both.
Featured Image: Facebook (Yan Guo Hao)