One minute she's alive, but now she's gone: Family mourns Yishun cyclist killed by cement-mixer

Relatives of Madam Lin Shui Yu (right) sobbing next to the body of the 59-year-old cyclist.
PHOTO: Shin Min

When she sees a car while crossing a road, her legs tremble.

Her bicycle, which she rode often for light exercise, now sits untouched in a corner of her four-room flat.

All because she saw her friend, Madam Lin Shui Yu, 59, lying motionless after being run over by a cement mixer on Monday morning.

Still visibly distraught by the recollection, Madam Lee Xiu Mei, 61, told The New Paper yesterday in Mandarin: "My head throbs whenever I close my eyes... I don't think I'll ever forget seeing my friend's crushed body on the road.

"I still find it hard to accept her death. It feels like a nightmare."

Madam Lee, a retiree, was cycling home to Block 453, Yishun Street 41 with Madam Lin, who was also a retiree, and another friend after a trip to the Sembawang Hot Spring that morning.

The trio had waited at the traffic light at a crossing at the T-junction between the Yishun Avenue 9 and Yishun Central roads.

When the pedestrian light turned green, they crossed the road by cycling in single file.

Madam Lee took the lead, with Madam Lin and the other friend following behind.

Tragedy struck when a cement mixer made a left turn from Yishun Central into Yishun Avenue 9 and ran over into Madam Lin.

Madam Lee said she turned around when she heard her friend screaming for her to stop.

"One minute my friend was alive and well but now, she is gone," said the petite woman.

A police spokesman said a 50-year-old man has been arrested for causing death by a rash act.

Madam Lee, who is still struggling to come to terms with her sudden loss, told TNP that the three of them were good friends and neighbours who would meet each other every day.

They would either go to the wet market, or go on walks at the nearby park every morning.

Madam Lin and Madam Lee became good friends four years ago after becoming neighbours.

At home, Madam Lin was also someone her family relied on.

"She is the treasure of the family. Losing her is like losing my limb," said her 37-year-old nephew, Mr Lin Hong Fu, who works in the electronics industry.

He described his aunt as someone who took good care of her family.

CLOSE-KNIT FAMILY

Every weekend, their family would gather at Madam Lin's house, where she would cook up a feast.

"We had so many people, we could fill two to three tables," Mr Lin said.

Madam Lin had two children and five grandchildren. But her family dinners also included her extended family.

She also regularly cooked their favourite food and passed it to them.

The close-knit family updated each other on their daily happenings via their group chat on WhatsApp every day.

Madam Lin and her husband are both permanent residents born in China, and have been married for 40 years.

She was known to be very loving towards her husband, who does renovation work.

She would call every day to ask him how much longer he would take to get home from work so that she could heat up food for him.

Once he got home from work, Madam Lin would greet her husband at the door with a glass of warm water.

"They were a model couple - they never fought," said Mr Lin.

Mr Lin added that ever since the accident, Madam Lin's husband has been unable to sleep or eat, and has been crying uncontrollably.

"The mere act of picking up his chopsticks would remind him of (Madam Lin) and he would get distraught again," said the nephew.

Madam Lin's husband declined to be interviewed when TNP visited the family at Madam Lin's wake last night.

Mr Lin said the family is expecting more re­latives to fly in from China to see Madam Lin for one final time.

A relative in Singapore is helping them with their visas.

"We tried sending photos and updates to them but they are just too sad.

"They needed to see her for the last time," said Mr Lin.

For Mr Lin, he is trying to let the news sink in and hoping to seek answers to his aunt's death.

He had been busy with the wake and funeral preparations.

"Our top priority now is to take care of my uncle (Madam Lin's husband) as he still can't accept this news.

"If she died naturally, it would be easier to swallow. But this accident is too sudden for us to accept," said Mr Lin.


This article was first published on May 18, 2016.
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