Driver involved in Bukit Timah crash which killed friend sentenced to 2 weeks' jail

Honami Lam Qixin, 25, was sentenced to two weeks' jail on March 29 after pleading guilty on March 14 to causing the death of her friend by negligent driving.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - What started out as a night of merrymaking ended in tragedy for a group of friends when a bus ploughed into a car they were in, killing one of them.

The driver of the car, project manager Honami Lam Qixin, 25, was sentenced to two weeks' jail on Friday (March 29) after pleading guilty on March 14 to causing the death of her friend Jasmine Lim Jia Yan, 23, by negligent driving.

She was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for four years.

In handing down the sentence, District Judge Kessler Soh said that the case involved an "unfortunate and tragic accident", and noted that Lam had a clean record prior to the tragedy.

Lam and her boyfriend Jake Lau Zhi Wei, 26, had gone to Pine Grove near Ulu Pandan Road on April 21 last year to celebrate the birthday of Ms Lim's boyfriend.

Lam offered Ms Lim a ride home after the party ended past midnight.

The younger woman, who was an assistant brand manager for SK-II, sat in the back while Lam's boyfriend took the front passenger seat.

Lam stopped her car in the second lane of the three-lane road at the junction of Jalan Anak Bukit and Jurong Kechil Road.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wu Yu Jie said her intention was to turn right towards the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) heading to Changi.

However, when the traffic lights turned green for vehicles travelling straight ahead, she started moving before the right-turn green arrow appeared, DPP Wu said.

She also did not stop the car in the turning pocket but immediately made the right turn towards the PIE.

DPP Wu told Judge Soh: "She did so negligently, failing to keep a proper lookout and to give way to oncoming traffic while making a right turn when the traffic light in her direction was only showing green, without the green right-turn arrow."

Mr Thanjavour Rajarm Prabhuram, 43, was driving an SMRT bus in the opposite direction of Jalan Anak Bukit towards Clementi Road at a speed of about 59kmh when he saw Lam's car turning into his path.

The bus hit the left side of the car, which spun before coming to a stop.

Lam called the police and an ambulance soon arrived to take Ms Lim to National University Hospital, where she died of a head injury on April 22 last year.

Lam and Mr Lau were taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

She is now out on bail of $10,000 to settle her personal matters and was ordered to surrender herself at the State Courts next Tuesday to begin serving her sentence.

For causing Ms Lim's death by negligent driving, she could have been jailed for up to two years and fined.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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