Court orders release of woman in case involving deaths of eight teen cyclists

Sam (left) leaving the court with her lawyer Muhammad Faizal after the magistrate ordered her release.

JOHOR BARU: The Magistrate's Court here has ordered the release of a 24-year-old woman whose car ploughed into a group of teenage cyclists, killing eight of them on Feb 18, 2017.

Magistrate Siti Hajar Ali ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie against the accused, Sam Ke Ting, and her driving license that was suspended since she was charged along with RM10,000 bail to be returned immediately.

In her judgment, Siti Hajar said the prosecution failed to prove a case, as the investigation was incomplete and not comprehensive after reviewing statements from 46 witness.

"The accused could not be prosecuted based on the failure of the investigation officer to investigate the case properly.

"The accused had the rights to drive her car and had driven her vehicle within the speed limit, was not driving while using her phone, was not drunk and was using a car seat belt," she said.

She added that the victims, however, had created an unsafe condition for other road users by being at the location, on the left lane of the road.

"It is impossible for the accused to have predicted the whereabouts of the group of teenagers behind the road hill at 3am in the morning.

"The hilly road conditions had limit the line of sight of the road user," she said, adding that the group had gathered behind the hill to race on the road that had dim lighting.

She added that the victim had also made dangerous modifications on their bicycles by removing the brakes and lowering the seat at the same level as the handlebars.

"The victim had also failed to equip themselves with proper safety equipment such as a light reflection jacket and a bicycle helmet.

"The court also would like to take this opportunity to remind parents out there that they too could be charged under Section 53 of the Child's Act 2001 for neglecting their child," she said.

She added that the police could also take more stern action to eradicate these social issues by issuing summons to the perpetrator under Rule 42, traffic rule 166/59 of the Road Traffic Rules 1959.

"The police could also seize these bicycles under Section 112 of the Road and Transport Act 1987," she added.

The case was prosecuted by deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Syafiq Muhammad Ghazali, and the accused was represented by her lawyer, Muhammad Faizal Mokhtar.

On Feb 18,2017, eight teen cyclists were killed when a car driven by the accused plowed into a group of more than 30 youngsters, who were mostly riding modified bicycles commonly known as 'basikal lajak'.

The incident occurred at around 3.30am along Jalan Lingkaran Dalam near the Mahmoodiah Muslim cemetery.

Eight more cyclists were hospitalised after the incident.

On March 28 2017, Sam claimed trial to a charge of ramming into the group.

The charge is brought under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.

The charge under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333), carries a maximum 10 years imprisonment and a fine of not more than RM20,000, on conviction.

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Courts , Johor , Death , Teen cyclists , Mat Lajak


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