AYE accident: First glimpse of each other, days after crash

Interview with AYE fatal accident victims - motorcyclist Teh Tze Yong, 34 and his pillion rider Madam Janice Choo Yat Chiam, 34 at NUH. The Malaysian couple were among the five people injured in the accident on Monday morning.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

It was their 11th wedding anniversary yesterday and the first that administration officer Janice Choo and driver Teh Tze Yong, both 34, did not get to celebrate.

In fact, the Malaysian couple might not have seen each other had Madam Choo not been wheeled past her husband's bed as she was moved out of intensive care at the National University Hospital.

It was her first glimpse of him since they were both hurt in the crash on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) on Monday morning, in which a man was killed.

"I was relieved as my husband's condition did not look as serious as I had imagined. He just looked tired, and also a little shocked to see me," she told The Straits Times (ST) yesterday.

Read Also: Driver in fatal AYE accident charged in hospital

She had been riding pillion on her husband's motorcycle to her workplace in Tuas when a silver Mercedes-Benz car travelling against the flow of traffic came hurtling towards them.

The next thing she remembers is lying on the road, with her husband bending over her.

In a much-viewed video from another driver's dashboard camera, Mr Teh can be seen walking towards his wife in a daze, and then sitting down while the driver goes to him. He lost a finger and suffered hand fractures while his wife fractured a leg.

Madam Choo has seen the video and said it was hard to imagine the person being thrown off the bike and landing on the road was her.

Read Also: 1 dead, 3 injured after car goes against flow of traffic on AYE

They have not been in a condition to speak to each other since then.

Madam Choo went through a five-hour operation on Monday to have a metal plate and screw inserted into her fractured leg.

She remained in intensive care until yesterday.

"I managed to see his face as I was being wheeled into the ward, but I still can't walk to his bedside," said Madam Choo, whose bed is at the other end of the ward from her husband's.

Mr Teh, who works for a logistics company, lost his right ring finger but chose not to have it reattached as the procedure could lead to complications.

When ST visited him yesterday, the soft-spoken man would only say in Mandarin: "I am in agony."

The couple, who have no children, share a three-room flat in the Pioneer area with relatives.

Read Also: Victim who died in AYE accident had appeared in TV shows and commercials

One man died and four people were injured in the incident, in which the Mercedes driver allegedly made an illegal U-turn on the AYE near the Tuas Second Link and went against oncoming traffic.

Businessman Lim Chai Heng, 53, has been charged with causing death by reckless or dangerous driving.

Each anniversary, the couple would have dinner after work.

Madam Choo said they had also planned to be at Sentosa for New Year's Eve.

1 dead, 3 injured in AYE accident

  • An accident on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) on Monday (Dec 19) morning left one dead and three others injured.
  • The accident occurred at about 8am.
  • According to an eye-witness, the accident that left a trail of destruction on the expressway was caused by a driver of a Mercedes who allegedly drove 120km against the flow of traffic.
  • In the videos, a severely damaged silver-coloured car can be seen next to a wall of the AYE.
  • The car's bonnet was completely smashed.
  • A few metres away, there was a fallen motorcycle beside a stationary car surrounded by debris. A woman who looked to be conscious was lying in front of the motorcycle.
  • The SCDF said that it was alerted to the accident at about 8.05am.
  • SCDF personnel attending to a black-coloured car that was also involved in the accident.
  • A male Chinese was found trapped in the driver's seat of a car and he was extricated by SCDF using hydralic rescue tools. He was pronounced dead by paramedics.
  • Three persons were conveyed to NUH.
  • Two contributors sent videos of the accident to citizen journalism website Stomp.

Her mother, Madam Choy Moy Chai, 62, said she and her husband, 58, drove eight hours from their home in Ipoh, Malaysia, to care for their eldest daughter.

"I saw a video on Malaysian television showing my daughter flying in the air after the car hit her. I could not believe my eyes," she said.

Madam Choo, who is thankful to be alive, plans to focus on her recovery so she can walk and care for her husband.

She said: "I wish I could touch his face and tell him how much I miss him."


This article was first published on December 23, 2016. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.