Driver in High-Profile Woodlands Fatal Accident Has a History of Epilepsy & Was Advised to Refrain from Driving

More details about the Woodlands accident that happened on 1 September 2022 involving a Honda Civic and a bus have been revealed.

The crash resulted in two fatalities, a bus passenger and the car’s driver. 

Reportedly, the driver involved suffered from epilepsy, and was advised by doctors to refrain from driving.


Here’s what happened. 

The Accident Itself

On 1 September, at around 6.10 am, 32-year-old Mr Muhammad Hadi Sazali crashed his car into a Tower Transit bus on service route 858 in Woodlands. 

The car had sped past a red light and crashed head-first into the midsection of a bus turning right at the junction of Woodlands Avenue 9 and Woodlands Avenue 4. He had been driving at 127 kmh, far above the speed limit of 60 kmh. 

Mr Hadi died at the scene, and later, 53-year-old passenger Madam Sariah Bakri passed away due to her injuries. 

She had been flung off the bus onto the road, and was pronounced dead at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. 

Seven other bus passengers, as well as the bus driver, were also taken to the hospital.

Driver Had Epilepsy, Warned Not to Drive

Mr Hadi had a medical history of epilepsy, and was advised not to drive by his doctors.

He did not follow that advice although he had still been receiving treatment for his condition. 

An inquiry was opened into the two deaths, and the coroner ruled Mdm Sariah’s death a misadventure. Mr Hadi’s death was recorded as an open verdict. 

A doctor testified that it could not be confirmed if Mr Hadi had a fit shortly before the crash.

According to Traffic Police investigating officer Station Inspector Raziz Tahar, people with epilepsy are prohibited from driving under the current Road Traffic Act.

The driver’s cousin had also called for empathy in a TikTok video, citing that “any sound mind” would’ve hit the brakes, though there had been no brake marks to suggest that brakes were applied. 


How Does Epilepsy Affect Driving?

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that causes recurrent, unprovoked seizures as a result of abnormal electrical brain activity.

The problem with driving arises because of these seizures, which are sudden and can be unpredictable. During a seizure, called a “fit” in epilepsy, symptoms include a loss of responsiveness, jerky and uncontrolled movements, and difficulty breathing. 

This results in a loss of motor control and lapses in consciousness, making it dangerous for a patient to operate a motor vehicle. Outside of a fit, medication used to treat epilepsy like anticonvulsants can result in side effects like drowsiness. 

Although there are different types of seizures, they generally cause a similar impairment of cognitive ability and motor function. 

Drivers in Singapore are required to declare their epilepsy condition when applying for a licence.