She was ‘hallucinating’
She claimed to have made U-turn after seeing a lorry in front of her, says cop
THE 19-year-old driver, whose act of driving against traffic along the North-South Expressway (NSE) on Tuesday claimed a life, showed no emotion when she was produced in court yesterday to be remanded.
Despite the flashes from scores of clicking cameras glaring at her face, Ng Pei Ven remained unperturbed and ignored them all.
She also did not utter a single word.
The teenager, wearing a purple lock-up attire, and sporting a bandage above her left eye and with her right arm in a sling, arrived at the magistrate’s court here about 1.50pm, escorted by police.
Magistrate Dianne Ningrad Nor Azhar granted a four-day remand.
An elderly couple, believed to be the woman’s relatives, were seen at the courtroom during proceedings. However, they declined to speak to the media when approached.
After the proceedings, the woman was quickly ushered into a waiting police car and taken back to the lock-up.
In the 7.50am incident, the woman, believed to be drunk and high on amphetamine, drove her car at high speed against the flow of traffic along the NSE after the Sungai Dua toll on mainland Butterworth, and triggered a multiple vehicle collision.
Her Proton Gen 2 struck a Perodua Kelisa driven by Mohamad Fandi Rosli, 26, which led to a chain of collisions. Fandi died at the scene due to severe head and bodily injuries.
The woman and drivers of four other vehicles escaped with minor injuries.
Speaking at a press conference earlier, Seberang Prai Tengah district police chief Assistant Commissioner Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid said an interrogation session conducted with the woman revealed that she was “hallucinating” at the time of the incident.
He said she had told police that she had initially missed her turn heading home, at the Permatang Pauh intersection, and headed straight to the Sungai Dua toll plaza, until Km128 of the NSE.
He said that when she was approaching the toll, about 100m away, she claimed she saw a lorry in front of her which prompted her to make an immediate U-turn from the middle lane to the right lane south-bound on the same road.
“That was when she was involved in the multi-vehicle collision, which killed Fandi instantly, at Km134 of the same stretch,” he said, adding that it was also established that the woman was out clubbing with her friends here before heading back home.
“She was obviously hallucinating... we have retrieved the closed-circuit television camera footage and found no lorry in front of her before she made the U-turn.
“She was also high on amphetamine from her urine test, but no drugs were found in her car. We will identify and call her friends to establish the source of the drug that the woman had consumed,” he added.
The case would also be investigated under Section 15(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 for self administration of drugs.
Nik Ros said eight statements had been recorded, including from several witnesses at the scene.
He added that there was no need to reclassify the case from the Road Transport Act 1987 to the Penal Code.
There have been calls for the case to be reclassified to Section 304a of the Penal Code for causing death by negligence.
“The current Section 44 of the Road Transport Act for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs carries a heavier penalty,” he said.
“We are still in the early stages of investigation where a person died while several others were injured due to the road accident, hence the reason why the case is classified under the Road Transport Act.
“It also carries a heavier penalty compared to the proposed Penal Code section.”
Section 44 carries a jail term of not less than three years and not more than 10 years and a fine of between RM8,000 and RM20,000, while Section 304a carries a jail term which may extend to two years or with fine or both, if found guilty.
Meanwhile, the New Straits Times paid a visit to the woman’s house in a bid to talk to her parents but the house appeared to be empty.
A neighbour, who declined to be identified, said that the parents would usually be home only late at night.
He also described the woman as a very reserved person who did not mingle with the people in the neighbourhood.
“I saw her car at about 6.45am before I sent my children to school... a few hours later, I heard about the unfortunate news.
“The woman's parents are very friendly, especially the father,” he said.
Police officers escorting Ng Pei Ven to the magistrate’s court in Bukit Mertajam yesterday.