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Driver in Lucky Plaza fatal crash might be headed for a trial after disputes over statement of facts

Driver in Lucky Plaza fatal crash might be headed for a trial after disputes over statement of facts

Chong Kim Hoe leaving the State Courts on Jul 16, 2021. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: The driver in a fatal crash at Lucky Plaza that claimed the lives of two maids and injured four others might be headed for a trial, a court heard on Friday (Jul 16).

Malaysian Chong Kim Hoe, 65, was originally set to plead guilty on Friday, but his lawyer Kalaithasan Karuppaya told the court that they had received the statement of facts and sentencing submissions from the prosecutor on Wednesday.

Mr Kalaithasan said his client has some disputes with the facts laid out in the court documents. He asked for the case to go to a pre-trial conference instead. The prosecutor said the decision on whether to go to trial or have a guilty plea taken will be made thereafter.

Chong, who is a Singapore permanent resident, faces three charges of driving dangerously in a manner that caused death, grievous hurt and hurt.

He was driving along Nutmeg Road behind Lucky Plaza at about 5pm on Dec 29, 2019 when he allegedly engaged the accelerator while making a U-turn. 

His vehicle mounted the footway, went through a guard rail and onto the service road at Lucky Plaza. He collided with Filipinas Abigail Danao Leste, 41, and 50-year-old Arlyn Picar Nucos.

Three other Filipinas were grievously injured in the accident: Ms Arlyn's sister Arceli Picar Nucos, 56; Egnal Layugan Limbauan, 44; and Laila Flores Laudencia, 44.

Another Filipina, 37-year-old Demet Limbauan Limbauan, was seated along the footway and was hurt in the incident as well.

Flowers and candles have been left by people in remembrance of accident victims who died in a car crash at Lucky Plaza on Dec 29, 2019. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

Chong was a private-hire vehicle driver with Grab at the time of the offences but was later suspended.

Ms Arceli later told CNA that she was on her day off and was out with friends and family when the crash occurred. Her sister, Ms Arlyn, had worked as a foreign domestic worker for 30 years in Singapore, the head of the Philippines' Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said previously.

Chong is out on S$15,000 bail. He can be jailed for between two and eight years if convicted of causing death while driving a motor vehicle. He can also be banned from driving for 10 years.

For causing grievous hurt by driving, he can be jailed between a year and five years, and banned from driving for eight years.

If found guilty of causing hurt by driving, he can be jailed for up to two years, fined up to S$10,000, or both. He can also be banned from driving.

Source: CNA/ll

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