The driver who caused a horrific crash on the Central Expressway (CTE) on National Day two years ago that killed a Singaporean and three South Koreans was sentenced to the maximum five years’ jail and disqualified from driving for 20 years today (June 19).
Toh Cheng Yang, 35, had committed the “ultimate traffic offence” by driving so dangerously that he caused four deaths and nearly wiped out an entire family, said District Judge Low Wee Ping.
His culpability is among the most serious and falls within the band of cases for which the maximum sentence should be imposed, said the judge, who noted that the only mitigating factor was his timely plea of guilt.
“You also committed one of the most reprehensible traffic offences. You drove under the influence of drugs,” added DJ Low.
Toh was found to have consumed five to 15 times the therapeutic level of a sedative drug called nitrazepam, which was also more than twice the amount that would produce toxicity.
On Aug 9, 2013, Singaporean trainee pilot Amron Ayoub, 23, was driving his girlfriend Song Jisoo, 24, and her family to Changi Airport for a flight to Hong Kong when a car tyre went flat. They stopped on the chevron marking the Yio Chu Kang exit on the CTE to retrieve the breakdown sign and tools from the car boot, and did not have the hazard lights on.
Amron, his girlfriend and her parents, who were standing behind the car, were killed after Toh plowed into them.
Part of the arm of Song’s mother Kim Mee-Kyung was sheared off, while the others suffered near-amputations and multiple fractures. Song’s older brother Seounghwan, a professional golfer, was unscathed as he was standing beside the car.
After Toh pleaded guilty to one charge of dangerous driving resulting in the deaths and another charge of driving under the influence of drugs last month, DJ Low had adjourned sentencing, saying he was too shaken upon seeing photographs of the accident to make a decision.
Today, Toh’s lawyer Abdul Hamid Sultan indicated that his client would be lodging an appeal but would begin serving time in jail.