Man jailed for driving car into fellow food deliveryman who tried to take photo of his vehicle
SINGAPORE: When the driver of a car parked by the side of the road ignored his request to move forward, a motorcyclist took out his phone to take a photo of the vehicle.
Fearing that he would receive a traffic summons, the driver moved his vehicle forward, colliding with the motorcyclist and causing him to fall and fracture his wrist.
Kong Tong Ngok, 64, was sentenced to four weeks' jail and banned from driving for 18 months on Thursday (Jan 27) for his actions.
He pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous hurt to the motorcyclist by a rash act endangering human life.
The court heard that Kong was working as a food deliveryman at the time of the incident on Jun 9, 2020.
He was waiting in his car for a food order along Kadayanallur Street in Tanjong Pagar when the victim came along on his motorcycle.
The victim, a 58-year-old delivery rider, noticed at about 11.55am that the road ahead was jammed with traffic. He realised that the congestion was due to several cars parked by the side of the road.
The opposite lane was clear, except for Kong's car. The victim alighted from his motorcycle and approached Kong, intending to ask him to move forward and not block the road.
Kong did not wind down his window to speak to the victim. The victim signalled to Kong to move on, but Kong continued to ignore him.
The victim walked to the front of Kong's car and took out his phone to take a photo of the vehicle. Before he could do so, Kong drove his car forward towards him, the prosecutor said.
The victim extended his hand towards the bonnet to protect himself, but Kong continued to drive forward, colliding with him.
The victim fell backwards on the ground, landing on his right wrist. A security guard on duty at a nearby building witnessed the collision and called for an ambulance and the police.
The victim went to hospital and was determined to have a fractured wrist and tenderness over his shoulder. He had to wear a splint and was given 14 days of hospitalisation leave.
The prosecutor sought three to four weeks' jail for Kong and 18 months' disqualification from all classes of driving. He said Kong was fully aware that the victim was in front of his car, and that there was a real risk of collision if he drove forward.
Even after the victim extended his hand towards the car bonnet, Kong did not immediately engage his brakes, said the prosecutor.
Kong's lawyer Tang Gee Ni asked for one to two weeks' jail instead, saying his client was remorseful and was in extremely poor health.
He said Kong did not drive off when the victim asked him to as he thought the food would be ready for collection at any moment.
When the victim was about to take a photo of Kong's car, Kong assumed the picture would be forwarded to the traffic police for an enforcement summons, so he decided to drive off as he feared getting a summons, said Mr Tang.
He could not afford paying a fine, and thought the victim would step away from the vehicle in time, but his judgment was "erroneous", said the lawyer.
Mr Tang said his client bore responsibility for the incident, readily admitting to the police that he was guilty and saying he wanted to apologise to the victim.
Kong's wife recently divorced him, and his health condition has taken a turn for the worse, said Mr Tang. Kong suffers from epileptic seizures and frequent fainting, such that he can no longer work.
The judge told Kong that it was very fortunate that the victim did not sustain more serious injuries.
"There was absolutely no excuse for you to drive the car forward when he was clearly in the path of your motor car," she said.
For causing grievous hurt by a rash act endangering human life, Kong could have been jailed up to four years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.