JOHOR BARU: The High Court here has ordered a 26-year-old woman who had been acquitted and discharged in 2019 over a fatal road accident, to enter her defence.
Judge Dr Shahanaz Sulaiman made the decision on Thursday (Feb 18) after the prosecution successfully proved a prima facie case against Sam Ke Ting and overturned the decision made by the Magistrate’s Court to acquit and discharge her in October 2019.
Sam was charged with driving recklessly and dangerously, which resulted in the death of eight cyclists, under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, which provides a jail term of not more than 10 years imprisonment and a fine not more than RM20,000 upon conviction.
On Feb 18, 2017, eight teen cyclists were killed when a car driven by the accused ploughed 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.
In October 2019, Magistrate Siti Hajar Ali ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Sam Ke Ting, and ordered for her driving licence that was suspended since the day she was charged, along with the RM10,000 bail, to be returned immediately.
In her judgment, Siti Hajar ruled that the investigations were incomplete and not comprehensive.
“The accused could not be prosecuted based on the failure of the investigation officer to investigate the case properly.
“The accused had the right 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.
Siti Hajar added that the victims, however, had created an unsafe condition for other road users by being at the location.
“It is impossible for the accused to have predicted the whereabouts of the group of teenagers behind the hill at 3am in the morning.
“The road conditions had also limited the visual distance 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 said the victims had also made dangerous modifications to their bicycles by removing the brakes and lowering the seat to the same level as the handlebars.
“The victims also failed to equip themselves with proper safety equipment such as reflective jackets and bicycle helmets.
The court set trial dates from May 9 until May 11 this year as well as bail amount of RM10,000 with one surety.
The court also ordered the accused to hand over her passport and driving licence until the case is over.
Deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Syafiq Mohd Ghazali prosecuted the case while lawyer Muhammad Faizal Mokhtar represented the accused.