Lorry driver says he swerved to avoid taxi, did not hit cyclist
Lorry driver Teo Seng Tiong was attempting to overtake two cyclists when he heard a crashing sound, which made him think that he had hit a taxi on his right.
This caused Teo, 58, to react by swerving to his left in the direction of British national Eric Cheung Hoyu, 35, who then fell off his bicycle, said Teo's lawyer Chia Boon Teck.
But there was no contact between the lorry and the bicycle during the Pasir Ris incident, said Mr Chia yesterday on the first day of trial for Teo.
The incident, which was captured on video and went viral online, took place at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 3 and Pasir Ris Rise on Dec 22 last year.
In the video, which has garnered more than three million views, Cheung is seen hitting the left-side mirror of Teo's lorry. The lorry then suddenly swerves to the left in the direction of Cheung, who falls off his bicycle and onto the grass verge on the side of the road.
Earlier this year, Cheung pleaded guilty to two charges, for committing mischief and causing obstruction by riding his bicycle in the middle of the lane instead of the leftmost side. He was fined $2,800 on April 12.
Teo is contesting his two charges - one for acting rashly as to cause hurt to Cheung, and the other for failing to make a police report within 24 hours of the accident.
If convicted of the first charge, Teo could be jailed for up to a year and fined up to $5,000.
If convicted of the second charge, he could be jailed for up to three months or fined up to $1,000 as a first-time offender.
Among the witnesses called to the stand yesterday was taxi driver Ong Joo Kin, who was driving on the right of Teo's lorry at the time of the incident. Mr Ong said he did honk at the lorry, which was trying to cut into his lane.
Meanwhile, the second cyclist, Mr Nigel Harper, told the court that after Cheung fell off his bicycle, Teo parked his lorry on the side of the road.
As he was approaching Cheung, Teo appeared "upset and quite angry that his side mirror had been broken", said Mr Harper.
When asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Choong how he would compare his own reaction to Cheung with Teo's reaction, Mr Harper said: "My response was to check if (Cheung) was okay. The driver didn't appear to be concerned about (Cheung), he was just pointing repeatedly at his wing mirror."
Mr Harper also said that Teo later drove off in his lorry before the ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later.