Driver's rude move leads to fatal pile-up
HE BRAKED on the expressway to direct a rude hand gesture at a stranger - and caused a nine-vehicle pile-up that killed a motorcyclist.
Workshop manager Pang Chon Seng, 52, was sentenced yesterday to four months in prison for driving dangerously on the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE) on June 19 last year.
Pang had been driving his Toyota Wish to work before 7am when he started swerving abruptly from lane to lane in order to harass motorcyclist Johann Johari Nazir.
The 31-year-old, who was riding with his wife on the pillion, felt Pang was driving dangerously close to him and stopped at the road shoulder near Toh Guan Road.
Pang then suddenly braked so that he could show Mr Johann both his middle fingers. This forced the driver of a prime mover directly behind Pang to slam on the brakes.
Lorry driver Lim Kok Aun, 48, who was travelling behind the prime mover, also braked hard, but his lorry veered to the right and spun into the path of motorcyclist Liow Yong Seng.
Unable to stop in time, the 35-year-old crashed into the lorry with such force that his motorcycle broke into two pieces and flew across the PIE. He was found dead under the lorry.
Nine vehicles were involved in the accident, which unfolded as three separate chain collisions.
Meanwhile, Pang drove off.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Rachel Lee said that Pang had "deliberately chosen to persist in a continuous and prolonged dangerous manner of driving".
Pang's lawyer, Louis Joseph, said that his client had gone after Mr Johann because he thought he saw someone on a motorcycle taking photographs of him, and wanted to get a closer look.
DPP Lee responded that investigations had found no evidence of these photographs, and that even if that were the case, Pang's reaction was still disproportionate.
Meanwhile, Lim was fined $7,000 for his part in Mr Liow's death.
The prosecution argued that he had failed to keep a safe distance from the prime mover or watch the road, which had contributed to the accident.
Both Pang and Lim were also disqualified from driving for four years, starting yesterday.
For his reckless driving, Pang could have been jailed up to 12 months, fined up to $3,000 or both. Lim's negligence could have been punished by up to two years in jail, a fine or both.
Additional reporting by Miranda Yeo