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Cabby, 73, collapses and dies while giving police statement over incident with PHV driver in Dover

Cabby, 73, collapses and dies while giving police statement over incident with PHV driver in Dover
Taxi driver Lin Tianfu (right) had accidentally reversed into another vehicle behind him at a car park in Dover Crescent on June 26.
PHOTO: Supplied to Shin Min Daily News

When a 73-year-old cabby accidentally hit the car behind while backing up his taxi, it angered the driver so much that he became aggressive.

As tensions escalated, the cops were called in. Alas, while giving a statement to the police, the taxi driver, Lin Tianfu (transliteration), collapsed. 

He was taken to the hospital, where he subsequently died on the same day, reported Shin Min Daily News.

His daughter Lin Xiaohui (transliteration), 38, told the Chinese evening daily that her father had gotten into a dispute with a private-hire (PHV) driver last Wednesday (June 26) shortly before collapsing.

Footage from his taxi's dashcam, which his daughter reviewed on July 1, reportedly shows the cabby trying to exit a multi-storey car park at 19A Dover Crescent at about 5pm.

When the gantry barrier does not lift, the cabby reverses and hits the vehicle behind. The driver gets out of his car and confronts Lin, swearing and pointing at him. Lin moves his taxi forward and ends up hitting the other man's leg. 

The driver then called the police. 

A 52-year-old retiree who had witnessed the incident told Shin Min that the PHV driver had behaved aggressively.

"He walked to the side of the taxi and knocked on the window while incessantly scolding [the cabby], even cursing at him," he recounted, adding that diners at the nearby coffee shop had tried in vain to calm the man down.

Cabby turned pale, squatted before collapsing

When police officers arrived, they asked Lin to pull over to the side of the road.

"While doing so, the car mounted the kerb. My father had many years of driving experience and rarely made such mistakes, so we suspect he was already feeling unwell at the time," said his daughter.

As Lin's statement was being recorded, he gradually turned pale and squatted down to lean against his car, before suddenly collapsing to the ground.

The officers immediately performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 

The Singapore Civil Defence Force told AsiaOne they received a call for assistance at Block 22 Dover Crescent at about 5.15pm that day. Lin was taken to the National University Hospital, where he died later that day.

His daughter said that he had been in good health in general, and while he had high blood pressure and asthma, he did not need long-term medication. He typically worked during rush hour, had ample rest and never stayed up late, she added.

According to her, the PHV driver had expressed his remorse over the incident, though she believes his behaviour was to blame for her father's death.

"It was a small matter which could have been discussed nicely. I only saw minor scratches on the back of my father's taxi, so why was he (the other driver) [so agitated]?"

After the incident, Lin and her family members visited the Dover car park in search of eyewitnesses.

Estate residents reportedly confirmed that the PHV driver had scolded her father non-stop despite their attempts to defuse the situation, she said.

She added that her father had retired during the Covid-19 pandemic, but started driving again later as he felt bored staying at home. He had intended to retire two years later.

"He left the world before he could fully enjoy life," lamented his daughter.

ALSO READ: Man hit by car, father scratched after scuffle with taxi driver over rude hand gesture

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