GM fined for causing retired hotelier's death

GM fined for causing retired hotelier's death

The general manager of a multinational corporation who caused the death of former hotelier Sonnie Lien in a road accident was given the maximum $1,000 fine yesterday for driving without due care and attention.

Michael Teo Wee Hian, 65, who was convicted of failing to keep a proper lookout and hitting Mr Lien, 78, on Nov 11, 2013, was also banned from driving for six months.

Mr Lien was one of the sons of the late tycoon and philanthropist Lien Ying Chow, who founded Overseas Union Bank - Singapore's fourth-largest bank until it was acquired by United Overseas Bank in 2001.

Mr Sonnie Lien was general manager of the Mandarin Singapore for 15 years, and had retired more than a decade earlier.

The court heard that Teo was driving on the rightmost lane along Ulu Pandan Road towards Holland Road when he saw Mr Lien standing a short distance from the leftmost kerb.

He looked away from Mr Lien and concentrated on his lane as he planned to turn right into Holland Grove Road.

But he did not notice that Mr Lien had started crossing the road and he could not stop in time. Mr Lien died about an hour later from multiple injuries.

Teo's lawyer, Mr Foo Cheow Ming, said his client had an unblemished driving record for the past 30 years and was driving at about 50kmh, within the speed limit. His client had seen the pedestrian but thought that he would not cross the road, he said.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a $1,000 fine or six months' jail.

This article was first published on March 27, 2015.
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