Food delivery rider on e-scooter crashed into elderly man while checking mobile phone, caused stroke

·Senior Reporter
·3-min read
The Singapore State Courts. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)
The Singapore State Courts. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — While delivering food on his e-scooter, a man checked his mobile phone and ended up crashing into an elderly man who needed life-saving surgery as a result.

After he was charged and placed on bail, Tian Wei Jie had his PMD confiscated, but that did not stop him from using a power-assisted bicycle (PAB) on a footpath, which is illegal, while drunk. He then crashed into another elderly man and assaulted him thereafter.

Tian, 35, pleaded guilty on Monday (15 November) to four charges. These are for causing grievous hurt through a rash act to a 77-year-old man, endangering the personal safety of a second elderly man, 60, through a rash act, voluntarily causing hurt to the 60-year-old by punching him even after riding into him, and riding his PAB on a footpath, a contravention of the Active Mobility Act 2017.

Tian will be sentenced on Tuesday.

First incident

Tian first worked as a deliveryman for Foodpanda, riding his 17.78kg PMD for assignments.

On 7 July 2019, Tian was riding on the footpath between Block 23 Bedok South Avenue 1 and Bedok South Avenue 1, when he encountered the 77-year-old man on the same footpath.

Even while checking his handphone for job assignments, Tian rode at a speed of about 19 to 22kmh. He failed to keep a lookout for pedestrians and crashed into the victim, causing the elderly man to fall and sustain brain haemorrhages.

His injuries required emergency life-saving surgery, according to the prosecution. The victim was warded for 102 days and given 70 days’ hospitalisation leave. He was unable to pursue his ordinary activities for 20 days, and his family incurred $46,557.01 in medical expenses. These were fully covered by the victim’s Medishield and Medisave, and insurance payouts.

The victim’s daughter lodged a police report a day after the accident.

Tian’s PMD was seized on 20 August 2019, while Tian himself was arrested on 7 April last year.

Second incident

After being released on bail, Tian began working for GrabFood as a delivery rider using a PAB.

On 7 March this year, he met his friends at a coffeeshop about 1.30pm and drank six bottles of beer before leaving. He rode his PAB home on the footpath adjoining Bedok North Street 3 beside Block 534 Bedok North Street 3, towards Block 531 Bedok North Street 3.

At about 7pm, the 60-year-old man and his wife, 52, were walking along the footpath. As a result of his intoxication, Tian rode into the man as he failed to keep a lookout ahead of him.

Tian then hurled Mandarin profanities at the man. The victim noted that Tian reeked of alcohol. When he told Tian not to ride in such a dangerous manner, Tian became agitated and attacked the victim.

He pushed the victim to the ground and punched him multiple times. During the scuffle, the victim also punched Tian, and his wife hit Tian with an umbrella. Passers-by later intervened and when Tian saw the crowd, he took his PAB and rode off.

At about 8.53 pm, the victim lodged a police report. The victim sustained abrasions and bruises, incurring $126 in medical expenses. Tian paid full restitution to the victim.

The PAB was later seized by the police.

Personal mobility devices (PMD) were banned from footpaths in Singapore amid a rise in the number of accidents involving riders and other footpath users.

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