AYE accident: SUV driver arrested for drink driving

The driver of the SUV involved in Wednesday night's accident on the AYE is reported to be a Mr Tan. He was quoted as saying that the lorry had slowed down without warning and he could not brake in time. As of yesterday, 14 of the 16 injured workers h
The driver of the SUV involved in Wednesday night's accident on the AYE is reported to be a Mr Tan. He was quoted as saying that the lorry had slowed down without warning and he could not brake in time. As of yesterday, 14 of the 16 injured workers have been discharged from hospital.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

The driver of a black sport utility vehicle (SUV) that rear-ended a lorry on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) on Wednesday night has been arrested for drink driving, the police said yesterday.

The accident, which happened just before the Jurong Town Hall exit, left 16 men who were in the lorry injured.

They were all workers from Hypex Engineering, which was ferrying 20 of them back to their dormitory in Jurong.

Mr Ng Cheow Teck, the company's operations manager, said the black SUV had collided with the right rear side of the lorry, which caused it to skid and turn over.

While the workers at the back of the lorry were prevented from being flung out of the lorry by the rails and a canopy, they sustained external injuries, said Mr Ng.

The SUV driver was reported by Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao to be a Mr Tan. He was quoted as saying that the lorry had slowed down without warning, and that the accident occurred because he could not brake in time. He also claimed to be the one who called the police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). He is understood to be aged 44.

The SCDF said it took four of the injured workers to the National University Hospital, while the remaining 12 were taken to Alexandra Hospital.

No critical injuries were observed, said the SCDF spokesman.

As of yesterday, 14 of the 16 men have been discharged.

Mr Ng said one worker remained warded at Alexandra Hospital for observation due to a head injury, while the other worker was still at NUH as he had complained of back pain.

Separately, a pile-up involving at least eight cars and a motorcycle occurred at about 10.20pm on Wednesday night on the Pan-Island Expressway towards Changi, near the Eunos exit. The SCDF said it was informed of the accident at 10.24pm and it dispatched an ambulance to the scene. No one was taken to hospital.

LIM YAN LIANG