A 42-year-old man from Myanmar, Maung Maung Aung Soe Thu, was thrown off his bicycle after the front wheel of his bicycle got stuck in a drain cover, in an incident that happened last year.
He ended up being sent to the hospital after suffering multiple injuries and is now suing the Public Utilities Board (PUB) for negligence.
The incident happened on 16 January 2021 along the Changi Point Coastal Walk, where he was cycling at the time.
Knocked out cold
The front wheel of his bicycle then got stuck in a drain cover that was beside the road, and he ended up being thrown off his bicycle.
Maung lost consciousness for a while and he was then sent to Changi General Hospital for emergency treatment after that.
Shin Min Daily News reported that he suffered multiple facial fractures, trauma to his spine and a “subarachnoid haemorrhage”, as well as having weakness in both his feet and right hand.
He was also left with scars from the wounds that he sustained from the accident.
Didn’t see the drain cover
Maung said in his written statement to the court that the dried leaves on the road obscured his view of the gap in the drain cover, and that he didn’t see the drain cover as he had turned his head to check for traffic.
His lawyer also added that the gaps in the drain were parallel to the road and inconsistent, and insisted that PUB be liable for the accident.
No complaints since 2000
PUB’s lawyers argued that they had no complaints about the drain covers along that stretch of road since it was constructed in 2000, and that in the last 10 years, there were only 12 verified accidents caused by drain covers.
And of the 12 incidents, only 5 involved cyclists (including Maung) and 4 out of the 5 cyclists sustained minor injuries.
They also pointed out that Maung had neglected his own safety by cycling on the road instead of on the park connector.