Former Grab driver drove into sea at Sentosa Cove while high on drugs

Former Grab driver drove into sea at Sentosa Cove while high on drugs
The entrance to Sentosa Island. (PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore / Dhany Osman)

Lim Jin Ping, 37, regularly consumed amphetamines and was twice admitted to hospital for drug-induced psychosis.

Intoxicated and angry with his father for not letting him use a solar panel at home to test a “glamping” concept for a new business, the former Grab driver then decided to go for a drive while bare-bodied.

But Lim crashed through gates and barriers in Sentosa and led security officers on a chase, even driving against the flow of traffic and evading a road block.

In an incident that was captured on video, he then drove his car into the sea before being rescued by a passer-by.

At the State Courts on Monday (5 November), Lim was convicted on four charges: one count each of causing hurt and drug consumption, and two counts of mischief.

Five other charges – three counts of mischief, and one count each of criminal trespass and committing a rash act to endanger the personal safety of others – will be taken into consideration when he is sentenced as part of his guilty plea.

Car hit security officer

The court heard that Lim worked as a Grab driver using his white Toyota Voxy, a multi-purpose vehicle.

On 25 August last year, he felt frustrated about personal matters and decided to go for a drive.

At about 2pm that afternoon, he reached the entrance of Sentosa Gateway and dashed through the gantry without stopping, causing $1,605 worth of damage.

A few minutes later, he dashed through another barrier at the end of Beach View and drove onto Siloso Beach View.

He later drove against the flow of traffic on a roundabout and hit another barrier which did not break.

At about 2.05pm, Lim drove through another barrier along Tanjong Beach Walk, behind Tanjong Beach Club.

His car then hit a Sentosa Ranger, a security officer on the island, and the man rolled off the car’s bonnet and onto the ground. Still, Lim did not stop.

Squeezed past roadblock

The ranger and his colleague then got onto their motorcycles and gave chase.

Shortly after, Lim dashed through a metal gate, causing $2,190.59 worth of damage.

At about 2.10pm, Lim drove along Cove Drive and against the flow of traffic, squeezing past a mini road block that had been set up by Sentosa Rangers using two patrol cars.

He continued driving against the flow of traffic for a while, until oncoming traffic caused him to switch back to the correct lane.

Shortly after, Lim made a right turn at the entrance of the W Singapore hotel and drove on a pathway beside the hotel towards the marina.

He drove down a flight of six steps and punctured his right front tire. Still, Lim persisted and drove on the pathway, and through bollard chains and into the water.

Rescued by captain

A South African captain on a ship that was berthed at the nearby One Degree 15 Marina saw Lim’s car sinking. David Roberts, 36, who is a trained life saver, dived into the water and swam to the car.

He reached through the open driver’s window and unbuckled Lim’s seat belt, before getting a stone from a ranger to break the back window and pull Lim out of the submerged vehicle.

Lim was sent to hospital, where his urine sample tested positive for drugs. He started smoking amphetamines in his twenties, and was admitted to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in October 2012 and May 2015 for drug-induced psychosis.

Lim admitted smoking about 2.5g of amphetamines every two weeks, but said he started smoking amphetamine daily in the week prior to his offences. During this period, Lim experience psychotic symptoms such as auditory hallucinations and paranoid delusions.

He was assessed by an IMH psychiatrist not to be of unsound mind at the time of the offences.

In the aftermath of the incident, the Sentosa Ranger who was hit by Lim’s car had bruises and a back sprain and was given one week of medical leave.

Captain Roberts received a Community Lifesaver Award from the Singapore Civil Defence Force for his gallantry.

The total damage incurred by Sentosa Development Corporation – the statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry which manages the island – due to Lim’s actions was $6,801.11.

Lim is expected to be sentenced on 27 November.

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