Boy left with permanent disabilities after his foot was crushed by bus

Boy left with permanent disabilities after his foot was crushed by bus

The boy's father had sued SMRT for $638k including compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of future earnings, and diminished earning capacity.

A 2013 incident that occurred in Choa Chu Kang had left a 12-year-old boy with permanent disabilities. He had been riding his bicycle across a zebra crossing when he was knocked down by an SMRT bus and was dragged for about 10 metres.

His left foot, which was pinned under the bus, was badly crushed in the accident. Doctors managed to save his foot after five operations, but he is left with permanent disabilities. 

The hearing began on 24 February over the damages for this incident.

The boy’s father, represented by Mr Tan Lian Beng, sued SMRT and the bus driver on his behalf, seeking damages of about $638,000. The claims include compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of future earnings, and diminished earning capacity.

A hearing in the High Court started to determine the issues of liability and quantum of damages.     

The incident

On 22 February 2013, the boy had been cycling on the pavement of Choa Chu Kang North 5 on his way home, when he stopped briefly at a zebra crossing. He testified that he had assumed the oncoming bus would stop for him, so he proceeded to cycle across the road.

However, the bus did not stop. The boy, with his left foot and bicycle pinned under the bus, had banged on the door to get the driver’s attention. After the bus came to a stop, the driver pulled him out from under the bus.

The boy was hospitalised for a month and recuperated at home for about a week before he returned to school. As a result of the accident, he is unable to move his ankle and toes freely, suffers pain when walking or standing for some time, and is likely to develop arthritis within the next few years.

He said that it is his ambition to be a chef and intends to pursue culinary art courses after secondary school. However, as chefs have to stand for long hours, he is likely to have to take a pay cut, he argued.

The bus driver, Mr Muruga Muniandy, was fined $1,200 and banned from driving for 3 months after he pleaded guilty to inconsiderate driving in November 2013.

The trial continues. 

Click on the next page to read more about safety tips for cyclists

Safety tips for kids when cycling

If your child is old enough to ride his bicycle and has gained the permission and trust from you to do so, here are some tips that he should be aware of when doing so.

  • Wear a helmet and the necessary safety pads. There is nothing more important than your child's safety, wearing a helmet and the necessary safety pads ensures that even if your child were to have a fall, he is well protected and will not be heavily injured.
  • Always look for vehicles before crossing the road. Even if you're sure that there are no oncoming vehicles, there is no harm in double-checking. Advice your child to alight from his bicycle and push it across the pedestrian crossing instead of riding it across, and not dash across the road when the green man is blinking - some cars may not be expecting it.
  • Be extra alert at road junctions. These are usually the most accident-prone places, as there are many vehicles around.
  • Do not cycle on the roads. The safest place for a child to cycle would be on the pavement, being careful not to run into people as well.

Our children's safety is of utmost importance, and we should always guide them in whatever they do. What are some other safety tips that you can share with us?  

News Source: The Straits Times

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Written by

Claudia Chia

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