Lorry driver in altercation with cyclist says he swerved to avoid taxi, did not hit cyclist
SINGAPORE: A lorry driver in an altercation with a cyclist had swerved to avoid a taxi, and did not injure the cyclist, his defence lawyer claimed ...
Teo Seng Tiong, 58, claimed trial to one charge of causing hurt toby a rash act, and another of failing to make a police report within 24 hours of the accident.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe incident occurred along Pasir Ris Drive 3 towards New Loyang Link at about 11.55am on Dec 22 last year.
READ: Fine for cyclist involved in altercation with lorry driver in Pasir RisA video of the incident was widely shared online.Teo is accused of failing to keep a proper lookout while overtaking the cyclist on his right. As a result, he purportedly encroached into the path of a taxi on his right and swerved left, colliding into the cyclist.
AdvertisementAdvertisementThe cyclist, a 35-year-old British national, jumped off the bicycle and rolled onto the grass verge, the court heard.The trial opened on Monday with a series of witnesses taking the stand, beginning with traffic police investigation officer Tan Jun Yan.
Teo's defence lawyer Chia Boon Teck told Mr Tan that his client had swerved left into the cyclist as he had heard a honk on the right, that he thought came from a taxi beside him."At the same time he heard a crushing sound and he thought there was contact between him and the taxi so he instinctively swerved to the left," said the lawyer.
Mr Tan acknowledged hearing this version of events from Teo.Lorry driver Teo Seng Tiong at the State Courts on Monday Sep 23, 2019. (Photo: Rauf Khan)NO PHYSICAL CONTACT: DEFENCEThe lawyer added that there was"never any physical contact between the lorry and the bicycle", with the cyclist managing to jump off his bike, but Mr Tan said this was his first time hearing this.
Teo's defence counsel added that it was clear to Teo at the scene that the cyclist did not appear injured and declined treatment when the ambulance arrived, but Mr Tan corrected him to say Cheung was treated for abrasions.Other eyewitnesses that took the stand include a woman who was in a vehicle at the scene, and the taxi driver.
The woman, Ms Yvonne Lim Yi Wen, said the lorry had initially sounded its horn at her vehicle, as the driver"thought we were hogging the road".Instead, there were cyclists in front of her vehicle driven by her husband, she said."After he passed us, he sounded (his horn) at the cyclists," she said.
FELLOW CYCLIST TAKES STANDAnother cyclist who was with Cheung took the stand as well, describing how he heard"a crashing noise" and looked back to see Cheung falling from his bicycle and rolling onto the grass verge.Cheung looked shaken, while the lorry driver"looked upset and quite angry that his mirror had been broken", and"did not look particularly concerned with Eric himself", said cyclist Nigel Harper.
Teo's lawyer said his client had driven off as he thought Cheung was not injured, and also because Cheung had no particulars on him, or"did not want to exchange particulars".Mr Harper acknowledged that Cheung had no particulars on him, and that Teo had difficulty communicating with the cyclists.
However, Teo's decision to drive away was"a complete surprise to us", he said.Cheung, who was also charged over the case, is expected to take the stand on Tuesday afternoon. He was fined S$2,800 in April for mischief and not cycling in an orderly and careful manner.
If found guilty of causing hurt by a rash act, Teo faces up to a year's jail and a maximum S$5,000 fine.The penalty for a first-time offender who fails to make a police report within 24 hours of a traffic accident is a maximum jail term of three months and a fine of up to S$1,000.
He could also be banned from driving. Read more: CNA »
The lorry driver seems not to realize that a car/lorry can be a murder weapon!
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