AYE crash: Couple on motorcycle get first glimpse of each other in hospital

Janice Choo (left) and her husband Teh Tze Yong, in a picture taken before they met with an accident along the AYE on Dec 19, 2016.
Janice Choo (left) and her husband Teh Tze Yong, in a picture taken before they met with an accident along the AYE on Dec 19, 2016.PHOTO: COURTESY OF JANICE CHOO

SINGAPORE - It was their 11th wedding anniversary on Thursday (Dec 22) and the first that administration officer Janice Choo and driver Teh Tze Yong, both 34, did not get to celebrate.

In fact, the Malaysian couple might not have seen each other had Madam Choo not been wheeled past her husband's bed as she was moved out of intensive care at the National University Hospital.

It was her first glimpse of him since they were both hurt in the ill-fated crash along the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) on Monday morning, in which a man was killed.

"I was relieved as my husband's condition did not look as serious as I had imagined. He just looked tired, and also a little shocked to see me," she told The Straits Times.

She had been riding pillion on her husband's motorcycle to her workplace in Tuas on Monday morning, when a silver Mercedes-Benz car travelling against the flow of traffic came hurtling towards them.

The next thing she remembers is lying on the road, with her husband bending over her.


Mr Teh crouching above Madam Choo in the immediate aftermath of the accident on Dec 19. PHOTO: TNP READER

In a much-viewed video from another driver's dashboard camera, Mr Teh can be seen walking towards his wife, in a daze, and then sitting down while the driver goes to him. He lost a finger and suffered hand fractures while his wife fractured her leg.

Madam Choo has seen the video and said it was hard to imagine the person being thrown off the bike and landing in the road was her.

They have not been in any condition to speak to each other since then.

Madam Choo went through a five-hour operation on Monday to have a metal plate and screw inserted into her fractured leg.


Madam Choo (above) and her husband were among five people injured in the accident on Monday (Dec 19) morning. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

She remained in intensive care until Thursday. "I managed to see his face as I was being wheeled into the ward, but I still can't walk to his bedside," said Madam Choo, whose bed is at the other end of the ward from her husband's.

Mr Teh, who works for a logistics company, lost his right ring finger but chose not to have it reattached as the procedure could lead to complications.

 
 

When the Straits Times visited him, the soft-spoken man would only say in Mandarin: "I am in agony."

The couple, who have no children, share a three-room flat in the Pioneer area with relatives.

One man died and four people were injured in the incident, in which the Mercedes allegedly made an illegal U-turn on the AYE near the Tuas Second Link and went into oncoming traffic. Businessman Lim Chai Heng, 53, has been charged with causing death by reckless or dangerous driving

Each anniversary, the couple would have dinner after work. Madam Choo said they had also planned to be at Sentosa for New Year's Eve.

Her mother, Madam Choy Moy Chai, 62, said she and her husband, 58, drove eight hours from their home in Ipoh, Malaysia, to care for their eldest daughter.

"I saw a video on Malaysian television showing my daughter flying in the air after the car hit her. I could not believe my eyes," she said.

Thankful to be alive, Madam Choo plans to focus on her recovery, so she can walk and care for her husband. She said: "I wish I could touch his face and tell him how much I miss him."