Malaysian driver hit victim with forklift twice

Malaysian driver hit victim with forklift twice
File photo of a forklift.
PHOTO: Bloomberg

He had wanted to help his fellow workers clear some wooden pallets from the loading and unloading bay.

So he operated a forklift even though he was not trained to drive one.

He ended up reversing the forklift twice into a fellow driver, Mr T.Z. Yong, 34, who was seriously injured.

For that, Theenatayalan Ahumoolam, 27, was jailed for a week yesterday.

On May 29 last year, the Malaysian national, who worked as a driver at Gan Teck Kar Investment, was alone in the loading and unloading bay at Amtech Building at Sin Ming Road at about 12.30pm.

Theenatayalan, whose job is to oversee delivery processes, noticed that wooden pallets were strewn on the floor.

So he operated a forklift and cleared the pallets, despite not having undergone the requisite training accredited by the Ministry of Manpower.

After Theenatayalan was done, he remained inside the forklift and chatted with Mr Yong, a driver with Wong Lye Packing Solutions, who worked in the same building.


When Theenatayalan drove off, he engaged the wrong gear and reversed the forklift into Mr Yong, who was standing behind the vehicle, and pinned him against a pillar.

When Theenatayalan tried to move the forklift forward, he reversed it into Mr Yong again. He eventually managed to drive the forklift forward and attended to his fellow driver.

Mr Yong was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and found to have an open fracture in his pelvis and other injuries in the lower half of his body.

He underwent surgery by a multidisciplinary team consisting of radiologists, trauma surgeons, urologists and orthopaedic surgeons that day.

He was then put in a surgical intensive care unit before undergoing further surgery.

He was discharged on Aug 6 - about two months later - but still needs to go for regular medical follow-ups. By last November, his medical bills had amounted to $46,870.

Yesterday, Theenatayalan pleaded guilty to committing a negligent act that endangered the personal safety of others.

Theenatayalan, who was unrepresented, said in mitigation that he did not have any intention to hurt Mr Yong. He pleaded for leniency and added that he was remorseful.

For his offence, he could have been jailed up to two years, fined up to $5,000, or both.

This article was first published on June 19, 2015.
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