AYE accident: Questions remain for victim's family

PHOTO: The Straits Times

It has been four days since his brother, Mr Jackie Liong Kuo Hwa, was killed in a multi-vehicle collision on the Ayer Rajah Expressway.

But for Mr William Liong and his family, many questions about what happened on Monday morning remain unanswered.

They do not have details on what happened exactly before Jackie's Toyota Vios slammed head on into the Mercedes-Benz that was travelling against the flow of traffic.

What were his final moments like? Did he suffer or go peacefully?

Read Also: Driver in fatal AYE accident charged in hospital

Even though the Liong family did get to see Jackie's wife, Ms Venny Oliver, who survived the crash, his sister-in-law was in no condition to talk.

"Just as soon as we saw her, she started crying right away," William told The Straits Times yesterday at his brother's wake at Church of St Mary of the Angels in Bukit Batok.

"So, it's hard for us to speak to her. We don't even want to ask her what happened because it's a sensitive moment."

He said his family was coming to terms with the loss of his brother, 37, the middle of three siblings.

Said William, the youngest: "All we know when we heard the news was that Venny and Jackie were in an accident.

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.

"We didn't know the damage or how bad it was. We later realised Venny survived but Jackie's name was not in the emergency room anymore. That's why it hit all of us really hard."

At about 8am on Monday, Mr Liong and Ms Oliver, 37, were travelling in the direction of Tuas Checkpoint when their Toyota was involved in the incident.

The impact caused Mr Liong's car to veer to the left and land on its side, near the road shoulder.

He died on the spot, while his wife sustained injuries to her jaw, right shoulder and lower body.

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

The driver of the Mercedes- Benz, 53-year-old Lim Chai Heng, was arrested at the scene and charged on Tuesday at the National University Hospital with causing death by reckless or dangerous driving.

Lim and three other motorists suffered injuries.

Jackie's parents flew in from Indonesia upon learning news of the collision.

Said William, who lives overseas: "We didn't have a chance to say goodbye or even look at him for the last time (before he died)."

He said the family has been touched and encouraged by the numerous messages of support and condolences from friends and relatives who attended the wake at the church's La Verna Chapel.

Rev Clifford Augustine, the parish priest, said he knew Mr Liong's family and was saddened that he had been "taken too early".

There will be a memorial service for Mr Liong at the church this morning.

He will be cremated in the afternoon at Mandai Crematorium.


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