Once upon a time, when I still lived across the border, I would troll the internet looking for Asian cyclists and their blogs in order to learn stuff from them. One of the guys whose blog I used to read was this Singaporean named Ben Mok.
Then in 2010 I heard the devastating news that Ben and another cyclist were hit from behind by a drunk driver somewhere in Clementi. Ben passed away.
Here’s a clip about it from another blog.
“Yesterday, a doctor, Teo Tiong Kiat, 63, was charged in court over the incident near Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
He is alleged to have caused the death of freelance writer Mok Chee Kong, 35, by committing a negligent act along Clementi Road on March 21 last year at about 9.25pm. He is also said to have caused grievous hurt to Mr Bertram Leong Poh Meng, 23, a chef, who was cycling in front of Mr Mok.
The collisions occurred when Teo was filtering from the centre lane to the left one.
The general practitioner also faces three other charges of failing to stop after the accident; failing to render help; and removing his car without the approval of a police officer.
Mr Mok, an experienced cyclist who had ridden overseas in countries like the United States, died three days later without regaining consciousness.”
It’s aggravating enough that it’s been TWO YEARS and this case still isn’t resolved. Seriously, that long? It’s not like Singapore has a ton of cases. This is a tiny island! And then, Taiwoon posts this article from Stomp next.
Doc claims he did not know he hit cyclist28 Mar 2012
SOURCE: The Straits Times
A DOCTOR accused of failing to stop after an accident and not helping the injured said yesterday that he did not know that he was involved in one.
Teo Tiong Kiat, 64, said in his defence that if he had known that he had injured someone, he would have extended help.
As a doctor, he added, it was his duty to help the injured.
The general practitioner, who runs a clinic in Clementi, admitted to causing the death of freelance writer Mok Chee Kong, 35, and injuring another cyclist, Mr Bertram Leong Poh Meng, 24, along Clementi Road on March 21, 2010 through his negligence.
But he denied three other charges of not stopping, rendering assistance and moving his vehicle without lawful authority.
The court heard that Teo’s car had suddenly swerved to the extreme left lane where the cyclists were, hitting Mr Mok’s bicycle and then Mr Leong’s.
The impact caused both cyclists to land on the car’s bonnet, severely denting it. They also hit the windscreen, breaking it.
Mr Mok died without regaining consciousness three days later. Mr Leong was in hospital until March 29.
Asked by his lawyer, Senior Counsel Sant Singh, yesterday what his feelings were about the incident, Teo said he was still extremely upset and very sorry about what had happened.
Since the accident, he has not driven as he was “fearful”.
Earlier, Teo testified that he had begun that day at dawn with a house call to certify the cause of death of a five-year-old boy from a brain tumour.
He then went to church with his family, had lunch and tried to sleep when he went home but could not. He went to his clinic to clear some paperwork. He had dinner with his office manager, Ms Celine Lee, and had a glass of wine.
On his way home, he felt the car swerving to the left and wobbling along Clementi Road. He lost control and heard a loud sound.
He eventually brought the vehicle under control and took the slip road to Upper Bukit Timah Road. He parked at the Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre carpark to inspect the tyre.
He was shocked the see the extensive damage to the bonnet, windscreen and roof. He told a man called Mr Michael Teo, who was having dinner with his family, that it was amazing he was not injured given that his car was so badly damaged.
Teo said he took photographs of the car. So did Mr Teo’s daughter, and both men exchanged name cards.
Subsequently, when his office manager arrived, Teo again said it was a miracle that he was alive. She pointed out that the car’s front number plate was missing.
They decided to walk back. It was only when he saw the police, the two bicycles and a pool of blood in Clementi Road that he realised his car must have hit the bicycles.
The number plate was also found by the roadside.
Under cross-examination, Deputy Public Prosecutor Adrian Loo suggested that Teo had returned to the scene after he discovered that his licence plate was missing. Teo did not agree.
“I put it to you that you knew or ought to have known from the cracked windscreen and dented roof at the point of collision that you had hit the two cyclists,” DPP Loo said.
District Judge John Ng will hear submissions from both sides on Friday.
Are you shitting me?! The doctor didn’t know? IS HE LEGALLY BLIND? HOW CAN HE NOT FREAKING KNOW? Something hit his front hood and broke his windshield AND HE DIDN’T KNOW?! What kind of fuckery is this? Where the hell was he looking, because dude, if he was looking STRAIGHT FRONT he would have seen the damage on his car and he would have wondered what the hell caused it like any other normal person!
Let’s just be honest here. If you’re that incapacitated to drive, from alcohol or whatever other reason (grief, trauma, tiredness, whatever shit excuse he can think of) GET OFF THE FREAKING ROAD YOU MORON! You’re barreling towards other things in a 3000 pound metal missile.
It’s not an accident. He chose to drink a glass of wine. He chose to drive while intoxicated. He chose to continue driving even though he had difficulty steering the car. As a driver, it’s his responsibility to pay attention to everything on the road — no excuses! Whatever shit choices you make, take the high-road and man up to the consequences.
I am reminded of this article on Bicycling.com awhile back that really struck me called “The Ignorance-is-Bliss Defense”:
It’s the “ignorance is bliss” defense: “I didn’t see the cyclist, and I didn’t intend to hit anybody. It was just an accident. It’s nobody’s fault.”
Well, yes, it is somebody’s fault. It’s your fault, it doesn’t matter that you didn’t “intend” to hit somebody. You did hit somebody, and if you didn’t see the cyclist because you weren’t paying attention, it’s your fault.
Let’s be clear about this point, because it’s the other Get Out of Jail Free card that negligent drivers always seem to reach for. Intent is not relevant in determining whether a driver was at fault in an accident. In fact, that’s why we call unintentional collisions “accidents.” If the driver intended to hit somebody, that’s assault. If the driver didn’t intend to hit somebody, that’s an “accident.” But just because the collision was unintentional doesn’t mean that nobody was to blame. Almost all collisions are preventable. If the collision occurred because a motorist didn’t see a cyclist who was plainly visible, guess what? It’s the motorist’s fault.
Oh god I am so furious right now!!! I wish I could meet this doctor and yell in his face for being such an irresponsible human!
For more updates on Ben’s case, do read the comments on this entry from Cycling in Singapore.