Man in Ang Mo Kio reversing tragedy says he'll give up driving after wife's death

Mr Quek Chin Ling (above and far right) is too traumatised to drive after a freak accident killed his wife, Mrs Quek-Ng Siew Fong, on Tuesday night.
Mr Quek Chin Ling (far right) is too traumatised to drive after a freak accident killed his wife, Mrs Quek-Ng Siew Fong, on Tuesday night.ST PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI
Mr Quek Chin Ling (above and far right) is too traumatised to drive after a freak accident killed his wife, Mrs Quek-Ng Siew Fong, on Tuesday night.
Mr Quek Chin Ling (above) is too traumatised to drive after a freak accident killed his wife, Mrs Quek-Ng Siew Fong, on Tuesday night.ST PHOTOS: LIM YAOHUI

He allegedly reversed into her after asking for directions when they lost their way

After the tragedy on Tuesday night, when his wife died after being hit by his car, Mr Quek Chin Ling has decided to give up driving for good.

"I can't drive any more, because it'll remind me of what happened," the distraught retiree told The Straits Times yesterday at his wife's wake at Mount Vernon.

Mrs Quek-Ng Siew Fong, 64, a senior deputy director at the Ministry of Manpower's foreign manpower management division, died from severe injuries after she fell and hit her head on the ground, when her husband allegedly reversed into her by accident at a carpark near Block 332, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1.

Mr Quek, 67, declined to reveal more about the incident.

However, he said they were on their way there to attend a briefing for her week-long qigong retreat in China next month.

The couple, who had been married for over 35 years, spent most of their time together.

Mr Quek said they would always have dinner together after she finished work.

On weekends, they would enjoy strolls along reservoirs or at the Botanic Gardens.

That night, he told her that he would stay at home at their Toa Payoh condominium, but she suggested having dinner in the area before the briefing.

Mr Quek said his wife had been using the car more frequently in recent years for work.

She had picked him up from home on Tuesday evening, he recounted, and had been driving when they lost their way in Ang Mo Kio. It was around this point that he took over the wheel.

"We were running late and were about to give up, but all of a sudden, I saw a deliveryman opposite, so I sought help and asked him for directions," he recalled.

Mr Johnson Chin, 56, had earlier said that he had met them around 7.40pm at Block 325 nearby.

They followed him in their car to the correct block, and Mr Quek got out to thank him.

But when he returned to the driver's seat, he did not seem to realise that his wife had opened her door and stepped out, too. The car reversed and hit her, said Mr Chin.

Mr Quek said: "Breaking the news to my two sons was a very difficult thing to do and my brother-in-law helped me to do the job because, emotionally, I felt that I would not be able to manage."

His sons, a 29-year-old who works in Hong Kong and a 24-year-old undergraduate at Stanford University in the United States - returned for the wake.

They declined to be interviewed.

They shared a close relationship with their mother, who sent them a WhatsApp message every morning, Mr Quek said.

"I used to be a very dominating person, but my wife was able to provide me with different perspectives and remind me of important moral values."

His sons were "in a state of shock" after they were told of the news. The family has been busy with funeral preparations and are still coming to terms with what has happened, he said.

"There are many issues at hand.

"It has been very difficult and what happened is very sad... but I have to force myself to take it step by step."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2017, with the headline 'Husband says he'll give up driving after wife's death'. Print Edition | Subscribe