A man who was jaywalking while trying to chase after a bus, inadvertently caused a motorcyclist to crash when the latter’s motorcycle struck the jaywalker’s bag and fell off his bike, suffering three fractures in the process, according to The Straits Times.
The jaywalker, 48-year-old Chinese national, Hu Zhangwen, pleaded guilty to one count of causing hurt by performing a rash act and was sentenced on 8 September to 3 weeks imprisonment.
A Risky Dash for the Bus
The incident took place along Yishun Avenue 1 on 28 February last year between 7pm and 8pm, when Hu, a 48-year-old wood crafter, found himself at a crossroads.
Having just finished work, he spotted bus service 117 across the road on Yishun Avenue 1. With the bus in sight and the desire not to miss it, impatience got the best of him.
At the same time, Mr. Yeow Ooh Aik, a 54-year-old Malaysian motorcyclist, was navigating his way along the road. Hu’s decision to jaywalk across a three-lane road, despite the motorcyclist being only 2 to 3 meters away, set the stage for disaster.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sean Teh outlined the gravity of Hu’s actions. Despite recognizing the real risk of the motorcyclist swerving to avoid him, Hu continued to sprint across the road. He did not consider the consequences of his impulsive move, and the inevitable occurred.
Mr. Yeow sounded his horn and attempted to swerve to avoid a collision, but it was too late. His motorcycle struck Hu’s bag, causing both men to tumble.
Tragically, Mr. Yeow suffered three fractures, including injuries to his right elbow, right shoulder, and left wrist. The severity of his injuries led to two surgeries and a 12-day hospitalization, along with an additional 74 days of hospitalization leave.
In court, Hu Zhangwen was charged with one count of causing hurt to Mr. Yeow by performing a rash act. The prosecutor argued that Hu knowingly flouted traffic rules by jaywalking when he did not have the right of way. Furthermore, his reason for taking this reckless risk was deemed frivolous—he risked his safety solely to catch a bus.
During the sentencing phase, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sean Teh advocated for a jail term ranging from four to eight weeks for Hu.
He highlighted the blatant disregard for traffic rules and the gravity of the injuries caused. In contrast, defense lawyer Liaw Jin Poh appealed for leniency, requesting the maximum fine of $5,000, citing the incident as a freak accident.