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Singapore truck driver jailed 10 weeks for reversing over two construction workers

Neo Beng Teck, who has more than 33 years of driving experience, was also barred from driving for five years. — TODAY file picNeo Beng Teck, who has more than 33 years of driving experience, was also barred from driving for five years. — TODAY file picSINGAPORE, Dec 7 — A driver who flouted safety protocols at a worksite and reversed an 11-tonne tipper truck over two workers, killing them, was sentenced to 10 weeks’ jail yesterday.

Neo Beng Teck, 55, who has more than 33 years of driving experience, was also barred from driving for five years.

The fatal accident happened at a Mandai worksite on Nov 3 last year. Prosecutors said Neo knew he was not supposed to reverse his truck without a traffic controller at the rear guiding him, but did it anyway that day, crushing two Bangladeshi workers who were sleeping on the ground at the rear of the vehicle.

When he felt his rear wheels roll over Alam Nur-E, 35; and Anis Abdul Jalil, 47, he thought it was because of uneven ground.

But other workers saw what had happed and shouted at him to stop the truck.

Neo did as told, then drove forward.

When he alighted to check, the two victims were under the truck.

Alam died on the spot while Anis succumbed to his injuries in hospital. They died of multiple injuries, according to a forensic pathologist.

Deputy public prosecutor Jason Nim said that “effectively, (Neo) was driving blind”, when he ought to have exercised greater care, considering he was handling a big, heavy truck.

The prosecutor added that the spot where the victims rested was commonly used by workers because the designated resting area was not large enough.

But whether or not the victims were negligent in doing so “does not in any way detract from (Neo’s) culpability”, said Nim.

No problems were found with the truck in an inspection after the accident.

Neo could have been jailed up to two years and/or fined for causing death through a negligent act. — TODAY

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