TAMPINES ACCIDENT

Friends pay tribute to teens in Tampines crash

Driver Tang and passenger Isabella Tay (above) escaped with injuries. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Driver Tang and passenger Isabella Tay (above) escaped with injuries. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Driver Tang (top) and passenger Isabella Tay (above) escaped with injuries. (Left) Ms Lo's friends at the accident scene.
Driver Tang (top) and passenger Isabella Tay (above) escaped with injuries. (Left) Ms Lo's friends at the accident scene.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Driver Tang (top) and passenger Isabella Tay (above) escaped with injuries. (Left) Ms Lo's friends at the accident scene.
Driver Tang (top) and passenger Isabella Tay (above) escaped with injuries. (Left) Ms Lo's friends at the accident scene.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

They show up in force to remember bubbly, thoughtful and caring girls

One was a Hello Kitty fanatic who loved her grandmother very much. The other was a confident and thoughtful girl with a smile that would brighten anyone's day.

Those were just some of the ways friends and relatives of Phoebe Lo, 19, and Michelle Phoe, 18, remembered the two girls who died in a fatal car crash in Tampines on Thursday.

They showed up in full force at the girls' wakes yesterday to pay their last respects, some crying uncontrollably.

The teenagers were killed when the car they were travelling in crashed into a tree in Tampines Road. Both had been in the back seat and were apparently flung out of the vehicle.

The driver, 20-year-old Tang Zi Liang, and front-seat passenger Isabella Tay, 18, escaped with injuries. Mr Tang was subsequently arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Yesterday, the families of Ms Lo and Ms Phoe went back to the accident site to say prayers.

When The Straits Times visited the site yesterday afternoon, people had left offerings such as bubble tea, chicken rice and a Hello Kitty soft toy. Friends said these were among Ms Lo's favourite things.

The tree that the white Toyota crashed into had its bark ripped off by the impact, and deep tyre marks and glass shards could still be seen on the grass.

At Ms Lo's wake at Block 359 Tampines Street 34 last night, her mother told The Straits Times: "She was very obedient. She never gave us any problems."

Friends said Ms Lo was cheerful, bubbly and outgoing. "She was a nice, very sweet and very caring person. Even at midnight, we would have heart-to-heart talks," said Ms Tan Yiqin, 17, who got to know Ms Lo when they sold vouchers together part-time.

Her ITE nursing classmate, Ms Hasina Aziz, 22, said: "She loved Hello Kitty. Everything from her phone cover to her socks, pencil case, handbags, fake glasses, was Hello Kitty."

Over at the Teochew Funeral Parlour, Ms Phoe's friends described her as a confident, easy-going and thoughtful girl who loved outdoor activities.

Ms Lee Hui Peng, 19, and Ms Jocelyn Yee, 21, were schoolmates with Ms Phoe at Junyuan Secondary School.

The trio would hang out regularly during secondary school, but Ms Lee and Ms Yee had lost touch with each other after that and Ms Phoe had urged them to reconnect some time ago.

"Without her, both of us would still be drifting apart," said Ms Yee. "We came together to show her we are back in touch now."

Ms Lo's friends said Mr Tang and the three girls in his car would go clubbing quite frequently and were on their way home from a night out when the accident happened.

Ms Nisha Wong, 16, who went clubbing with them sometimes, said Mr Tang was a "cautious" driver. "I've been in his car before. Anyone in his car felt safe," she said.

That was cold comfort for Mr Daniel Hafiz, 18, Ms Phoe's secondary school classmate, who said: "It's such a waste. Her life had just started. The driver should have been more responsible."

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg

roysim@sph.com.sg