Lawyer jailed over death of motorcyclist in AYE accident involving multiple vehicles

SINGAPORE: A lawyer was jailed for two weeks on Friday (April 29) for causing the death of a motorcyclist in an accident on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) in 2018.

Laurence Goh Eng Yau swept the side of Mr Wong Yew Wai’s motorcycle as he abruptly swerved to avoid colliding with the car in front of him.

The impact threw Mr. Wong, who was 33 years old, into the lane of an oncoming truck in the adjacent lane. He was run over by the truck and pronounced dead at the scene.

Goh, now 57, pleaded guilty to a charge of negligent driving earlier this month.

He had admitted that he wasn’t paying close attention to the traffic situation and that he hadn’t kept a safe distance from the car in front at the time.

Goh is an attorney and sole owner of his eponymous law firm, according to a search of the Justice Department’s website.

He was on his way to Bukit Panjang from his office when the accident happened around 5:20 p.m. on September 12, 2018 near exit 7A of the AYE. The exit is near Portsdown Road towards Tuas.

After his abrupt swerve, two other cars behind him collided, hitting the two cars in front of him.

Deputy Presiding Judge S. Jennifer Marie also banned Goh from driving for five years on Friday.

She said Goh showed “sincere remorse and remorse,” noting that he turned his driver’s license over to the investigating officer and has stopped driving since the accident.

Judge Marie also noted that defense attorney Ramesh Tiwary had asked the court to consider Goh checking his blind spot before abruptly dodging.

“A life has been lost and you bear the burden of knowing that your negligent act resulted in it,” the judge said.

“This serves as a timely reminder of the importance of obeying traffic laws and being vigilant when driving.”

In addition, Judge Marie said that she took Goh’s medical condition into account when assessing the length of detention he should serve.

The court heard Goh has prescriptions for medication to treat angina, a type of chest pain caused by decreased blood flow to the heart.

Goh’s wife was present at the court and he asked to speak to her before he was taken away to serve his sentence.

Persons convicted of involuntary manslaughter other than manslaughter can be sentenced to up to two years in prison, a fine, or both.

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