Russian man who jumped off minibus on ECP had schizophrenia, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Russian man who jumped off minibus on ECP had schizophrenia

A Russian man who jumped out of a moving vehicle on the East Coast Parkway (ECP) in November 2023 suffered from schizophrenia and thought he was being abducted.

Eldaniz Ibishov’s act caused an accident that led to the death of a motorcyclist, who collided with a lorry that was forced to brake to avoid hitting Ibishov.

On April 1, Ibishov, 38, pleaded guilty to one charge of causing grievous hurt and one charge of remaining on the expressway.

He was sentenced to seven months’ jail.

On Nov 8, 2023, he landed at Singapore’s Changi Airport from Azerbaijan. Court documents did not reveal the purpose of his visit.

Ibishov boarded a minibus at the airport to go to his hotel at Jalan Sultan, as arranged with a travel agent.

His lawyer, Mr Barry Douglas Delaney, said Ibishov felt something was off as his passport was not stamped. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) stopped manually stamping passports for short-term visitors in 2022 and issues electronic visit passes instead.

Ibishov also thought he was being tailed by another vehicle, and found it strange that he was the only passenger on the minibus.

During the ride, the minibus driver answered two calls, which exacerbated Ibishov’s paranoia as he did not understand any English.

Thinking he was being abducted, Ibishov unbuckled his seat belt and jumped out of the moving vehicle.

Mr Delaney said Ibishov felt jumping out of the minibus at this point was an act of self preservation.

Before Ibishov jumped, the driver had already slowed down the minibus from between 70kmh and 80kmh to between 30kmh and 40kmh, after seeing how agitated the Russian national was becoming.

Ibishov landed on lane two of the ECP.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee said the driver of the lorry behind immediately applied emergency brake and turned into lane three to avoid hitting Ibishov.

As Ibishov was walking from lane two to lane three at the same time, the lorry had to brake again.

This resulted in freelance delivery motorcyclist Muhammad Nurhilmi Atan, 27, colliding with the rear of the lorry.

Mr Nurhilmi, who suffered multiple injuries, was unconscious when he was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He died later that day.

Ibishov then picked up his belongings from the minibus and walked for between 30 minutes and one hour on the shoulder of the expressway, before hailing a taxi to get to his hotel.

In mitigation, Mr Delaney said his client had offered restitution to the victim’s family on his own accord. He added that Ibishov’s schizophrenia had worsened during his time in Singapore and he had suffered a relapse.

While DPP Gwee did not dispute that Ibishov’s mental condition could have been a contributory cause, he said that a psychiatric report from the Institute of Mental Health found that Ibishov was in partial remission from his sickness at the time of the accident.

He added the report found that Ibishov had maintained awareness over his actions and understood the consequences.

The prosecutor sought a jail term of between eight and 12 months.

Offenders convicted of causing grievous hurt to another person by performing a rash act can be jailed for up to four years and fined up to $10,000.

For breaking the law under the Road Traffic (Expressway Traffic) Rules, a first-time offender can be jailed for up to three months or fined up to $1,000.

A repeat offender can be jailed for up to six months or fined up to $2,000.