The father of an eight-year-old boy who died after a road accident has described his family's ordeal as "a nightmare you don't wake up from".
Galen Ong was hit by a car in Eu Tong Sen Street going in the direction of Hill Street at around 6.30pm on Wednesday.
Speaking to The Straits Times yesterday at Mount Vernon Parlour, where Galen's wake is being held, 40-year-old consultant Filton Ong said he tried to break the news to his four-year-old daughter.
"My boy takes care of her whenever we go out," said Mr Ong, whose wife is a 38-year-old administrator. "We brought her here but she may not grasp the concept of death."
He added: "My wife and I will be taking a break from work and see how we are going to adapt. Our family and friends have been showing support."
Road safety tips
The Traffic Police and Singapore Road Safety Council have the following advice:
1. Children should raise their hands when they cross the road, as well as wear light-coloured clothing at night, so that they will be more visible to motorists.
2. Parents or guardians should hold children's hands and tell them not to use mobile devices while crossing the road.
3. Pedestrians should not jaywalk and should use signalised crossings, zebra crossings, underpasses and overhead bridges.
4. Motorists should keep a lookout for children and vulnerable road users. They should not speed and should slow down when approaching traffic light junctions.
Galen was on his way home from Delta Swimming Complex with his grandfather Tan Tiong Him, 66, when the accident happened. It was reported that the car which hit Galen tried to stop but was hit from behind by another car.
Galen was reportedly flung 3m by the impact and was taken to Singapore General Hospital. Mr Tan, his maternal grandfather, suffered minor scratches.
Mr Ong said the family made the decision to take Galen off life support later that night, as he had bleeding in his brain and was being sustained by machines and medication.
"(He was being kept alive) by the maximum dose of medication... so we decided to let him go," he said, visibly distraught. "We also have to monitor (my father-in-law) to ensure that he's feeling okay."
Police said they are still probing the accident and no arrests have been made, though two motorists are helping with investigations.
The number of traffic accidents involving children aged 12 and below is on the rise. According to the latest police data, there were 179 such cases between January and September this year, a 20 per cent jump compared with the number in the same period last year.
There were no fatalities in the first nine months of this year, but there were two fatal accidents out of the 199 cases involving children for the whole of last year.
Galen will be cremated at the Mandai Crematorium today.