Bus driver jailed for crash that left couple with brain injuries

This article is more than 12 months old

Cyclist has 'significant cognitive impairment' while his wife who was riding pillion is permanently disabled

A cyclist and his wife, who was riding pillion, suffered brain injuries after an SBS bus ploughed into them in 2016, a district court heard yesterday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jaime Pang said Madam Hou Huhong, 36, is now permanently disabled and has been placed in a nursing home for long-term care.

Her husband, Mr Soh Kong Beng, 50, has "significant cognitive impairment, which may improve over time but is likely to be permanent".

Lim Yeok Wah, 63, who was driving a service 55 bus when the accident occurred, was jailed for six weeks yesterday after pleading guilty to two counts of causing grievous hurt by negligent driving.

He was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for three years.

The court was told that shortly before the accident at 10.06pm on Aug 8, 2016, Lim was driving the bus along Jalan Eunos towards Eunos Link while Mr Soh was cycling in front of him on the extreme left lane near the kerb.

The bus driver failed to keep a proper lookout and his vehicle hit the rear of the bicycle.

Mr Soh and his wife were flung off the bicycle upon impact. Mr Hou fell onto a grass verge beside the road; Madam Hou, a Chinese national, landed on a nearby footpath.

DPP Pang said: "The accused did not stop immediately after the collision. He took a few seconds to realise that he had hit the victims, and then stopped and reported the incident."

The couple were rushed to Changi General Hospital where Madam Hou was hospitalised until Jan 10 last year.

Mr Soh, who also suffered a brain injury, was hospitalised for more than 50 days until October 2016. He was given medical leave until Feb 28 last year.

SBS Transit yesterday said it had tried unsuccessfully to reach out to the victims.

"This was a very tragic accident and we have tried repeatedly to reach out to Mr Soh and his family to offer our assistance.

"Our last contact with Mr Soh was in May this year where we again offered to help Mr and Mrs Soh but were unsuccessful.

"We will continue to keep the lines of communication open with the family," said its senior vice-president of corporate communications Tammy Tan.

Lim, who was dismissed following the accident, could have been jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000 on each count of causing grievous hurt by performing a negligent act.