E-bike safety in spotlight as truck crash leaves two riders dead, one injured

The accident site at the junction of Pandan Crescent yesterday. The 34-year-old driver of the trailer was arrested on suspicion of causing death by negligence. E-bike users Ang Yee Fong and Ong Zi Quan died, while a third, Marcus Loke, sustained inju
The accident site at the junction of Pandan Crescent yesterday. The 34-year-old driver of the trailer was arrested on suspicion of causing death by negligence. E-bike users Ang Yee Fong and Ong Zi Quan died, while a third, Marcus Loke, sustained injuries in the accident on Thursday night.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

The deaths of two young men on Thursday night, after being hit by a trailer truck, has placed the spotlight on the safety of electric bicycles.

The friends, 25-year-old Ang Yee Fong and 18-year-old Ong Zi Quan, were riding along West Coast Highway near midnight when the accident occurred, at the junction of Pandan Crescent.

Another friend who was riding with them, 17-year-old Marcus Loke, escaped with injuries and was in stable condition at the National University Hospital (NUH).

The 34-year-old driver of the trailer was arrested on suspicion of causing death by negligence.

Residents near the accident site recounted being woken up by a loud bang. Some then saw one body mangled, another prone, and smashed e-bike parts strewn across the road.

 
 
 

The trio, believed to be from the same lion dance troupe, were understood to be on the way from Jurong to Telok Blangah on their e-bikes.

Mr Ang was pronounced dead on the scene, while Mr Ong was taken to NUH, where he died of his injuries.

Residents said the highway is used by many heavy vehicles. The tragedy has also left many, from MPs to e-bike enthusiasts, urging greater awareness about the use of e-bikes.

Active Mobility Advisory Panel chairman Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim stressed the need to "continue to engage in educating our people", highlighting the rise in e-bike use as a relatively new development.

The accident also sparked a debate online on whether more needs to be done to regulate the use of e-bikes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2016, with the headline 'E-bike safety in spotlight as truck crash leaves two riders dead, one injured'. Print Edition | Subscribe