Local musician dies after cycling in Bukit Panjang

Music Group: Heritage comprises of (from left) Atwell Jansen, S.K. Robert, Sadeq Mezamudin and Ashley Jansen

SINGAPORE - His daily exercise routine was riding his mountain bike in the "jungles" near his home in Bukit Panjang.

But something went terribly wrong on Tuesday afternoon and singer Atwell Jansen, 62, of veteran local rock band Heritage, fell and injured his head.

No one knows how the accident occurred as Mr Jansen was alone at the time. By the time two passers- by came across him, he was unconscious and bleeding from the head.

They called for an ambulance and Mr Jansen was taken to the National University Hospital (NUH), where he died at 7.30am yesterday.

Two of Mr Jansen's friends spoke of his love for cycling.

A former Heritage member from the 90s, who goes by the name Dharma, 44, said: "Atwell went cycling in the jungles of Bukit Panjang nature reserve near where he lived. He had been doing it regularly."

A current member, guitarist Robert S.K., 44, said he heard the tragic news from Mr Jansen's wife, Christine, 50, rushed to NUH on Tuesday night to find that his friend was in a coma.

"Cycling was Atwell's daily exercise routine. He went to the Bukit Panjang nature reserve as he lives nearby," he said.

Mr Jansen was found about five minutes' walk from the carpark of Zhenghua Park, near Bukit Panjang Ring Road. There is a mountain bike trail at nearby Gangsa Hill but it is not clear if he had been riding there.

A spokesman for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they received a call for help at about 12.25pm.

The spokesman said that when the ambulance crew reached the carpark at Zhenghua Park, a young man was waiting for them.

He led the paramedics, with their equipment on a wheeled stretcher, through the park and it took them about five minutes to reach the accident site.

When they got there, an elderly man was standing next to Mr Jansen, who was bleeding from the left side of his head.

He still had a pulse and was breathing, said the spokesman.

The New Paper understands Mr Jansen was not wearing a helmet when he was found and his legs were still straddling his bicycle.

After assessing Mr Jansen's condition, the paramedics bandaged his head, fixed a cervical collar on him and stabilised his spine.

They deemed it serious enough to notify NUH that they had a casualty and the hospital should prepare to receive him.

They then carefully lifted Mr Jansen onto the stretcher before wheeling him out of the forested area to the ambulance, the spokesman said.

Treated for head injuries

On arrival at NUH, he was treated for head injuries.

His older brother, Mr Ashley Jansen, 64, told TNP yesterday that by the time he arrived at NUH, Mr Atwell Jansen was unconscious and the situation "looked very bleak".

He said: "The doctors tried their best. The only thing we know was that he was found in the park unconscious and bleeding with his bicycle by his side.

"The hospital contacted me. They found my number in his mobile phone. Atwell didn't have his IC with him at the time. I think that's why they called me.

"We are all very shocked. He was a very good brother and a good son to my dad."

Mr Atwell Jansen is also survived by two other brothers, Bill, 65, and Gordon, 55, who are both former members of Heritage, and his father, Mr William Raymond Jansen, 88.

When news of Mr Atwell Jansen's death reached his friends, none of them could believe what had happened.

His wake will be held from Thrusday till Sunday evening, but more details were not available at press time.

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