Motorist was asleep when he hit cyclist

Motorist was asleep when he hit cyclist
Law was given four weeks' jail for causing Mr Quek's death.

SINGAPORE - A retired global chief finance officer was driving home from a night of wining and dining with friends when he fell asleep at the wheel - and hit and killed a cyclist.

Ambrose Law Tiang Beng veered into the left lane of Thomson Road and piled into Mr Quek Chin Chong, sending the 58-year-old flying into the windscreen of his Mercedes Kompressor and onto the lane behind him.

The car mounted the kerb and stopped when it hit a tree. Mr Quek was pronounced dead in hospital five hours later.

Law, also 58, admitted causing the cyclist's death through negligence just before midnight on Dec 17 last year and was jailed for four weeks.

He was also banned from driving for five years.

He had told police that he recalled drinking less than 2 1/2 glasses of wine in total that evening while visiting a seafood restaurant and hotel with friends.

The first police officer to arrive at the accident scene had noticed that Law smelt strongly of alcohol and had a flushed face and bloodshot eyes.

Law, who was taken to hospital with abrasions, failed a breathalyser test, but tested negative for alcohol four hours later.

However, District Judge Victor Yeo believed the offence was "significantly aggravated" by the fact that he had fallen asleep while driving after drinking alcohol.

Law is now a senior adviser of Stamford Advisory, a boutique advisory firm.

Closed-circuit television footage of the incident showed a vehicle in front of his moving from the left to the centre lane to avoid Mr Quek. Judge Yeo said it was evident that no evasive action was taken by Law to avoid colliding with Mr Quek.

Ruling out a plea from Law's lawyer, Mr Ravinderpal Singh, for his client to be fined, the judge said it would send out the wrong signal. Law could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined.

elena@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on September 25, 2014.
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