It was a dream come true when Tien Kang Fan got into a polytechnic.
The former Bishan Park Secondary School student was thrilled as he had not thought his results were good enough.
He had started at Ngee Ann Polytechnic just two weeks ago, in what his mother said were "probably the happiest two weeks in his life".
But it has all come to an end for the 18-year-old logistics and supply management student, who was taken off life support yesterday morning after he was run over by a lorry on Monday and left brain dead.
Getting into a polytechnic had given Kang Fan hope of a good future, in which he could provide a better living for his parents, said his good friend Koh Jun Wee, 18.
And he had worked very hard, his father Tien Yoon Seong, 49, a construction supervisor, told The Straits Times at his wake.
"My son was never afraid of hard work. He spent long hours studying every day to prepare for his O-level examinations," he said. "He needed help with his schoolwork, but delayed asking for tuition as he was worried if I could afford the extra expenses."
Kang Fan was crossing the road at Sin Ming Avenue just past 7am on Monday when the accident took place. He was on his way to school.
He was excited about poly life, said his mother Lee Kim Ling, 52, a hawker assistant. She recalled how he would jump onto her bed every night to tell her about his day in school.
"He was like a big boy, showing me photographs that he had taken in school of his activities and friends," said Madam Lee, her voice trembling.
Kang Fan's parents had no doubt that the second of their three sons would do well in life.
Many described him as sensible and hard-working. Kang Fan's former cashier colleague at FairPrice, who gave her name only as Madam Lew, said: "Whenever there is a school break, he would work to earn some extra money. I always see him taking his mother to the supermarket and he would pay for the groceries.
"He would also help the elderly carry their groceries. It's a pity he died so young," said the 50-year-old.
Police said a 55-year-old Singaporean lorry driver is helping with investigations. The accident killed another pedestrian, Madam Khoo Thuan Kheng, 72.
Almost a hundred relatives, friends and teachers as well as former colleagues from FairPrice turned up at Kang Fan's wake in Ang Mo Kio. He will be cremated tomorrow.
This article was published on May 9 in The Straits Times.
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