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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Driver in Penang Bridge crash told to enter defence


Vaitheswaran M Kumaradevan is accused of reckless driving causing the death of his friend, Moey Yun Peng, at the Penang Bridge at 3am on Jan 20, 2019.

BUKIT MERTAJAM: A driver who allegedly caused a friend’s SUV to go off the Penang Bridge two years ago has been told to enter his defence by the magistrates’ court here.

Sessions judge Ahzah Fariz Ahmad Khairuddin, who sat as a magistrate, said he found the prosecution had established a prima facie case against former hairdresser Vaitheswaran M Kumaradevan after evaluating the evidence produced.

Vaitheswaran, 23, was charged with reckless driving causing the death of Moey Yun Peng, 20, at Km4 (Perai-bound) of the Penang Bridge at 3am on Jan 20, 2019.

After Ahzah ordered Vaitheswaran to enter his defence, the accused’s lawyer said three more witnesses, including Vaitheswaran’s mother and a government medical specialist, will be called in to testify on Oct 28 and 29.

Vaitheswaran had pleaded not guilty to the reckless driving charge under Section 41 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, which carries a maximum 10 years’ jail and a fine of up to RM20,000 if convicted.

The offence also carries a three-year driving licence suspension.

The car driven by Moey Yun Peng being hoisted from the sea three days after the incident.

He is out on bail of RM7,000 and his driving licence has been suspended until his case is disposed of. He is also required to check in at the nearest police station every month.

Reports had said a dashcam video from another car showed Vaitheswaran’s Toyota Vios knocking into the rear of Moey’s Mazda CX-5, causing it to flip thrice across three lanes of the bridge before plunging into the water.

A 140-member search and recovery team, which had to brave choppy seas and poor weather, lifted Moey’s car out of the water three days later. The vehicle was submerged 15m at Pier 34 of the bridge.

Over the past two years, the court had heard from 12 witnesses, including traffic policemen, Moey’s father and a kopitiam worker who testified that Vaitheswaran was at a birthday party with Moey in George Town hours before the accident.

Deputy public prosecutors Khairul Anuar Abdul Halim and Mohammad Nazri Abdul Rahim prosecuted, while K Paramanathan appeared for the accused. - FMT

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