Jailed for causing biker's death

Six months ago, she caused a young man's death.

Till today, Chen Hongyan, 36, still feels guilty.

The Chinese national, who was driving an SBS Transit bus, was making a right turn when she failed to notice a motorcyclist coming in the opposite direction.

The rider, Mr Toh Jia Wei, 19, collided into the front of the bus. He died later in hospital. The accident happened on Nov 9 last year at the junction of Tampines Street 84 and Tampines Avenue 8.

Monday, Chen was convicted of negligent driving not amounting to culpable homicide.

She was jailed for a week and disqualified from driving for a year.

Chen appeared jittery in court yesterday. As the proceedings started, she struggled to hold herself together, but tears still flowed.

Chen, who had only been driving for a month when the accident happened, held a tissue to her eyes and covered her face, when she watched a CCTV recording of the incident.

Dressed in a light brown long-sleeved collared shirt, jeans, and red flats, she stood hunched in the dock, her lower lip trembling.

Speaking through an interpreter, she told District Judge Low Wee Ping: "I feel apologetic towards the deceased and I feel guilty every day. I feel bad every day for the past half-year. I plead for everyone's forgiveness."

She added that she is a single mum and has to support her child and mother. She also owes her agent $6,000.

Her request for a fine was rejected.

Said Judge Low: "If I give you a fine, it would be hefty.

"I know it will take some time before you get over this matter. I hope that after you've completed your sentence, you can look forward.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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