Reason rider veered into car remains a mystery

Reason rider veered into car remains a mystery

At about 9.30am on Sept 13 last year, Mr Tan Kiat Siang sent a text message to his student's mother to say he would be late for tuition in Choa Chu Kang.

The allied educator at Naval Base Primary School left his Yishun Ring Road flat on his scooter at 10am.

About half an hour later, Mr Tan, 32, collided with a stationary car at the T-junction at Mandai Road and Mandai Lake Road, which leads to the Singapore Zoo.

His scooter swiped the front of a red Volvo and he was flung onto the road where he was later pronounced dead.

A coroner's inquiry yesterday heard the circumstances leading to the fatal collision in the presence of Mr Tan's next-of-kin.

State Coroner Marvin Bay later ruled the death as a misadventure.

But one question remains unanswered: Why did Mr Tan, who was riding in the middle lane of Mandai Road, veer into the stationary car that was waiting in the opposite direction to turn right into Mandai Lake Road?

Mr Bay said: "It remains unclear why Mr Tan's motor scooter had drifted to the right lane to impact on the right side of the car.

"Notably, however, Mr Tan had awakened late and was belatedly making his way to give tuition. It is entirely possible that he had, in a moment of inattention, steered his vehicle into the path of the stationary car that had itself partially strayed into the right lane."

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Tan Chee Sing of the Traffic Police told the inquiry the Volvo was an embassy car driven by diplomat Jin Jun from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China.

The investigating officer added that the collision occurred as the car waited in the right-turning pocket towards Mandai Lake Road as Mr Tan approached on Mandai Road in the opposite direction.

Forensic scientist Lee Rui Lin from the Health Sciences Authority said Mr Jin's car had protruded at least 2.5m out of the right-turning pocket.


Investigations revealed that the lines at the turning pocket were faded at the time of the accident. It was repainted five days later.

Ms Lee estimated the speed of the scooter after it struck the car to be between 59kmh and 68kmh. She added that this "would be an underestimation of the pre-impact speed" which could not be determined.

The speed limit on Mandai Road is 70kmh.

Of the Volvo's five occupants, three witnesses, including Mr Jin, noticed Mr Tan's scooter "wobbling" as he approached the junction.

Two witnesses - front seat passenger Wu Zhiwei and his wife, Madam Yang Yang, who was seated behind - said Mr Tan had been travelling at a "fast speed".

Mr Jin said in a police statement: "I thought the motorcycle could have passed my car safely. Surprisingly, the motorcyclist suddenly sideswiped the front right side of my vehicle."

When Mr Jin got out of his car, he saw Mr Tan lying face down behind his car with his scooter a distance away. He was unconscious.

An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be head and cardiac injuries.

The police do not suspect any foul play, said ASP Tan.

This article was first published on March 10, 2016.
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