Student Driver on Probation After Colliding Into Cyclist Who Suffered A Serious Brain Injury

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Road safety is serious business, especially if you’re the driver. With the recent spate of accidents, including the Tanjong Pagar car crash and Toa Payoh hit-and-run accident, I think I’ll just stick to public transport for now…

(If you’re reading this while driving, I’m gonna reach out from the screen like Sadako from The Ring and slap you.)

The Incident

On July 24 2019, then 19-year-old student Chew Jia Ying had been driving at 70km/h on West Camp Road, where the speed limit was 50km/h.

She had crashed into the victim, Mr Wong Wu Pao, when swerving back to the left lane after she failed to change lanes. According to The Straits Times, he had his bicycle lights on at the time.

Mr Wong was flung onto the windshield with such force that it shattered, and later fell to the ground when Ms Chew stopped her car. At this point, several other cyclists came to help and Mr Wong was eventually rushed to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH).

TODAYonline reports that Mr Wong soon became unconscious after being brought to the hospital and had suffered a traumatic brain injury, which led to a secondary stroke.

He was transferred from KTPH to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and ultimately continued his outpatient rehabilitation in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Severely Impacted Victim’s Livelihood

The accident had led to Mr Wong paying at least $130,000 out of his own pocket for medical expenses. Post-traumatic amnesia and behavioural issues were experienced by the victim as well.

The article by TODAYonline also mentions that in a medical report by a consultant neurosurgeon from a private clinic, it states that Mr Wong could only lift his left arm but was unable to pinch or hold anything.

“He is expected to encounter cognitive and memory problems in the future,” the neurosurgeon added.

As such, he was relegated to office work instead of his usual on-site installations of equipment at a construction company.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Thiagesh Sukumara noted that the loss of functionality of his left arm would also affect his current work performance, “thus severely impact[ing] the victim’s livelihood.”

One Year Probation

Ms Chew was sentenced to a year’s probation on Monday (22 Feb) after she pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous hurt by a negligent act.

Adult offenders convicted of causing grievous hurt by a negligent act can be jailed for up to two years or fined up to S$5,000, or receive both penalties.

Defence lawyers Lau Kah Hee and Fikri Yeong had pleaded for probation as Ms Chew was a student.

The terms of her probation require her to remain indoors from 10pm to 6am and perform 60 hours of community service. She is also banned from driving for a year.


Ms Chew’s parents have posted a $5,000 bond to ensure her good behaviour. Her insurance company is also working on settling Mr Wong’s medical bills.

The prosecution’s submission, which called for at least two weeks jail and a five-year driving ban, was rejected by District Judge Christopher Goh. They have filed for an appeal.

Feature Image: / New Africa

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