Survivor flies home with family's ashes

SINGAPORE - Mr Song Seoung Hwan, who watched his family die in last week's road tragedy on the Central Expressway, is alive today only because he was at the side of the car jacking it up.

That act saved his life when a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) ploughed into his parents, his sister and her boyfriend, who were standing at the rear of the Toyota Wish at 4am last Friday.

The 30-year-old Korean told The Straits Times at Changi Airport last Monday night: "My mum was thrown about 30m to 40m away. My dad and sister lay right in front of the wheels of the MPV."

Mr Song, a professional golfer based in China, returned to South Korea on Monday with his family's ashes. But that horrific split second in which he lost his family continues to haunt him.

"I turned around and I saw the car speeding towards us and hit us," he recounted with trembling lips. "I was unhurt. I don't know why."

At the time of the accident, Mr Song was kneeling on the right side of the car, which had suffered a punctured tyre. It was pulled over on the chevron area when the MPV slammed into them.

His sister Jamie Song Jisoo, 24, his father Song Jung Woo, 56, and mother Kim Mee Kyung, 54, were killed on the spot.

Miss Song's boyfriend, Singaporean Amron Ayoub, 23, died later in hospital. He had been taking the family to the airport.

According to Mr Song, Mr Amron was trying to retrieve the spare tyre from the car boot when he was struck by the MPV.

Mr Song said: "On the day of the accident, I told Amron, 'You are a second brother to me'."

The last time he saw Mr Amron alive, the Singaporean was being taken away in an ambulance. Another ambulance ferried the MPV driver, who complained of chest pains, said Mr Song.

The MPV driver was later arrested for dangerous driving causing death and has since been released on bail. Police said investigations are ongoing.

On Monday morning, mourners flew in from Korea for the funeral of Miss Song and her parents.

About 100 relatives and friends came to pay their respects. Mr Amron's family, who had buried him last Friday, also attended the funeral at Mandai Crematorium.

They sobbed loudly as the covers of the three coffins were lifted for them to take a final look.

Mr Song, his brother Jihwan, 28, and their relatives went from his father's coffin on the left to his mother's, then his sister's.

They spoke to the deceased in Korean and wept as they reached out to touch their faces and kissed them goodbye for the last time.

A hat was placed in the father's coffin, and some clothes and cards were placed in Miss Song's.

The Song brothers had to be restrained to allow the bodies to be cremated.

After composing himself, the older brother told The Straits Times he would return for the outcome of police investigations and to attend any court hearing.

"It is not over yet," he vowed. "I will be back."

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