PORT DICKSON: “We accept the decision of the court but whatever it is, our family isn’t coming back.”
A sobbing Ramlah Sapari, 60, said this outside the Magistrate’s Court here after a lorry driver, whose reckless driving caused the deaths of her sister, brother-in-law and their two daughters, was sentenced to five years’ jail.
The incident happened on Jan 3 last year when the Singaporean family was here for a short holiday.
“There is nothing more that I can say. The accused got five years but we lost four family members who are never going to be coming back,” she said while wiping away her tears.
Earlier, magistrate Siti Khairiah Abdul Razak had sentenced P. Mani, 55, to serve five years in jail each for causing the deaths of Rosli Samad, 53, Maimunah Sapari, 50, Nur Amalina, 20, and Dayana Sarah, 17. The jail sentence runs concurrently.
She also ordered Mani to pay a RM10,000 fine in default 12 months’ jail for each of the four charges.
If the accused is unable to pay the fine, he would have to serve an additional four years in jail.
Mani committed the offence at the Jalan Sepang-Lukut traffic lights junction at 2.30pm.
He was charged under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 which provides for a jail sentence of between two and 10 years and a fine between RM5,000 and RM20,000 for each charge.
Also in court yesterday was one of the deceased couple’s two sons.
The family was on their way to Port Dickson for a holiday and was passing through Lukut when the accident happened.
They were waiting at the junction and were about to move towards Port Dickson when the runaway lorry from the direction of Sepang crashed into their MPV.
A crane had to be used to lift the lorry from the crushed vehicle.
Siti Khairiah also ordered Mani’s driving licence to be suspended for three years.
Earlier, Mani’s counsel Kasthuri Krishnan asked the court for leniency as he was neither under the influence of any substance nor was he using a cellphone at the time of the accident.
The accident, she claimed, was due to the lorry’s faulty braking system.
However, Deputy Public Prosecutor A. Ashwini asked the court to impose a deterrent sentence as an entire family had been killed.
“They were here for a holiday but had their future snatched away by a reckless driver,” she said.
The defence will be appealing the decision.