72-year-old man pulls wheelchair-bound wife out of burning car after accident along Eng Neo Avenue

A motorcycle in the opposite lane lost control and flew over the road divider towards his car along Eng Neo Avenue.

Retired lorry driver Tan Cheng Whatt, 72, hit the brakes but the bike, which had already caught fire, managed to skid underneath his car.

Within seconds, the fire started to spread but Mr Tan had no time to panic - he had to rescue his wheelchair-bound wife Khoo Geok Hwa, 68, who was in the passenger seat.

In less than a minute, he rushed out of the Toyota Rush, ran across to pull his wife out, and dragged her up the footpath with the help of a few passers-by, as the fire raged on, according to video footage online.

The couple, who escaped unhurt, experienced this harrowing encounter last Saturday evening (Dec 28) while they were on their way to pick their daughter up from work at the nearby Turf City.

Madam Khoo told The Straits Times on Sunday that she was in a state of shock when the accident took place.

"I was very scared and my hands and feet had gone soft. This kind of thing has never happened before. But I am so thankful to everyone who helped me," she said.

The police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they were alerted to an accident involving a motorcycle and a car along Eng Neo Avenue, towards Dunearn Road, at about 6.20pm.

The SCDF put out the fire with a water jet and a compressed air foam backpack.

The 23-year-old motorcyclist suffered minor injuries. He was conscious when taken to National University Hospital.

The accident caused a traffic jam. A video of the fiery crash shows a row of cars behind the Toyota Rush as a crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the blazing car.

As these clips made the rounds on social media, Facebook user Derrick Tan identified himself as the owner of the car and said his parents were in the vehicle when the accident happened.

According to a police report made by Mr Derrick Tan's father and seen by The Straits Times, the motorcycle was travelling in the opposite lane when it skidded and hit the road divider, throwing both the bike and its rider into the same lane as the car.

Mr Derrick Tan, who was on holiday in Thailand when he received a call about the accident, said his parents, especially his mother who is wheelchair-bound due to illnesses such as diabetes, are still shaken from the accident.

"My mum cried. She saw the car catch fire and is very thankful that my dad was fast enough because if not, she would have been burnt.

"I was very worried at first but I'm glad to hear that everyone is okay. It seemed surreal, like a freak accident," said Mr Tan, 38, who runs a dog daycare and training school at Turf City, which his sister also works at.

Mr Tan said he had just renewed his Certificate Of Entitlement for the 10-year-old Toyota Rush. He added that the car was too badly damaged and he would have to get a new vehicle.

Investigations are ongoing.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.