Ionescu case: Widow of crash victim gets $240k

THE woman whose husband died after being run down by former Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu was awarded $240,000 yesterday at the High Court.

Madam Yenny Young was forced to make the heartbreaking decision to take Mr Tong Kok Wai off life-support after he suffered brain damage in the 2009 accident.

Yesterday, the 34-year-old told The Straits Times she was glad that "it is all finally over".

Two other pedestrians were hurt after being knocked down by the black Audi A6 belonging to the Romanian Embassy.

The case came to a close last month when a court in Bucharest sentenced Ionescu, 51, to three years in jail over the hit-and-run accident.

Madam Young, who has since remarried, was awarded the payout following a mutually agreed settlement with vehicle insurers NTUC Income. The housewife will also receive costs.

Her lawyer Patrick Yeo and Mr Desmond Tan, who represented the insurer, worked out the settlement sum based on factors such as the loss to her household income and the distress caused.

Mr Tong, a 30-year-old permanent resident from Malaysia, was working as an assistant manager at a hotel here and had been married for about three weeks when the tragedy occurred.

Madam Young, who now lives in her hometown in Solo, Indonesia, said she was glad it was all over now. "The (Ionescu) verdict is out and the civil claim is finalised," she said.

She added by e-mail: "I have moved on but still there are people who will ask me about the accident. Hopefully, now I can continue my life without being reminded of the accident again.

"The lawyers and the Singapore Government have worked hard to close the case too. I really thank them too. I really appreciate their help in closing the case."

Madam Young married an Indonesian businessman last year, and now has a three-month-old daughter.

NTUC Income vice-president for motor insurance Peh Chee Keong said that the firm's first priority "has always been to settle the third-party claims made by the victims". It is understood that the insurer has the right to recover the costs of the claims from Ionescu, and it is expected to evaluate its options in due course.