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Coroner records accidental death in ECP fatal accident on May 1

Published on Aug 25, 2014 5:24 PM
The wreckage of Mr Jamie Ho's Volkswagen Golf, after the accident on May 1, 2014.Mr Ho and his front-seat passenger Chen Ren-Yi were killed in the crash, and his four passengers were taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A local magazine publishing group director was travelling at about 150kmh when he cut across three lanes along East Coast Parkway (ECP) to get into a slip road, a corner's court heard.

In the process, the wheels on the right side of the car hit the kerb, causing it to crash through the guard railing, flip over and ram into a tree before landing upright again.

The driver of the white Volkswagen Golf, Mr Jamie Ho Pak Meng, 32, and his front seat-passenger, Ms Chen Ren-Yi, a 24-year-old Taiwanese, were trapped in the car following the crash at about 7.30am on May 1. They were pronounced dead about 40 minutes later.

The four rear seat passengers - three women and a man aged 24 to 30 - were taken to hospital for their injuries, including rib fractures. Three of them were Taiwanese.

At a joint inquiry into the deaths of Mr Ho and Ms Chen on Monday, the court heard that both Mr Ho and Ms Chen had been drinking. Mr Ho's blood-alcohol level of 195mg/100ml was more than twice the legal limit and was likely to have impaired his coordination, judgment and reaction time while driving.

Investigations showed that Mr Ho, who was working for his father, was taking his five passengers home to Neptune Court when the accident happened.

A minute-long video clip of the accident taken by a motorist's in-vehicle camera was shown in court.

The court heard that Mr Ho was driving along the extreme right of the four-lane expressway that day when he switched to the extreme left lane into the slip road towards Marine Vista. The car swerved out of control before crashing at the bend of the expressway exit.

Mr Ho's parents attended the inquiry. The father of the deceased, Mr Ho Sum Kwong, told State Coroner Marvin Bay that his son was usually very responsible and was well liked by all his staff.

He said whenever Jamie had consumed some alcohol, he would not drive but would call for a valet.