BUKIT MERTAJAM: The cause of death of Moey Yun Peng, 20, whose sports utility vehicle (SUV) crashed into the sea from Penang Bridge in January last year, was drowning, the Magistrate's Court here heard.
Medical forensic specialist Dr P. Chandroth Navin told the court that the cause of death was ascertained by taking into account the history obtained from police together with the autopsy and histology findings which pointed towards drowning in the absence of other severe external or internal trauma.
"There were ante mortem marks of trauma, which were bruises to the left upper arm and left shin.
"On the face and head, there was internal bleeding of the scalp in four regions but the skull had no evidence of a fracture.
"The impact was not strong enough to cause a skull fracture," he said during examination-in-chief by deputy public prosecutor Mohammad Nazri Abdul Rahim at the court in Bukit Mertajam on Tuesday (March 10).
Dr Chandroth Navin said Moey's lungs and stomach were filled with water.
"His lungs showed haemorrhaging (bleeding) due to the swelling from being filled with water.
"I also found that there was foreign material in the lungs which is consistent with breathing in seawater," he said.
Dr Chandroth Navin added that the victim's blood sample showed alcohol of 90mg, but from his opinion, it could be inconclusive as decomposition can affect the test.
"There were no common drugs detected in his system," he said.
During cross-examination, defence counsel Lawyer K. Paramanathan asked if the injuries caused to the Moey's head could have caused him to lose consciousness.
Dr Chandroth Navin agreed that Moey could have probably lost consciousness.
Earlier, medical assistant Baharuddin Baharom, who responded to the emergency call on the day of the accident (Jan 20,2019) at 3.09am, said when he reached the site of the accident along the Penang Bridge, the accused M. Vaitheswaran could verbally respond to questions but had nausea without vomiting, and retrograde amnesia where he could not remember what had happened.
"He had multiple abrasion wounds to his legs but no bleeding.
"He was drowsy but conscious and able to move with assistance," he told the court during examination-in-chief.
Sessions Court judge Ahzal Fariz Ahmad Khairuddin, sitting as the magistrate, then set the next trial dates for March 12 and 13 as well as April 27,28 and 29.
Vaitheswaran is charged with reckless and dangerous driving under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for causing Moey’s death at the 4th kilometre of the mainland-bound side of the bridge around 3am on Jan 20.
The SUV driven by Moey plunged into the sea after colliding with another vehicle.
It took rescuers two days to lift Moey’s SUV out of the water and recover his body.
If convicted, Vaitheswaran faces a jail term of no less than two years and up to 10 years, and a fine of no less than RM5,000 and up to RM20,000, or both.
His driving licence has been suspended until the case is over.
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