Kampung spirit on display: Strangers come to aid of driver who crashes van near Sports Hub

Passers-by came to help a van driver who crashed his vehicle into a tree at Stadium Drive on March 13, 2017.
Passers-by came to help a van driver who crashed his vehicle into a tree at Stadium Drive on March 13, 2017.SCREENGRAB: FACEBOOK/BEH CHIA LOR

SINGAPORE - Many helping hands came to the aid of a van driver who crashed into a tree along Stadium Drive on Monday (March 13) morning.

A video posted on road safety community page Beh Chia Lor showed how people came together to move a tree, help the van driver out of the vehicle and direct traffic.

Mr William Lee, who submitted the video to Beh Chia Lor, gave an account of what happened.

"The van went up the kerb and hit the tree. My wife called the ambulance while I went up to check on the driver. He was alright and responded positively when I asked about his condition," said the post on Facebook.

Large branches fell on one lane of the road, so Mr Lee and others helped to direct traffic.

"Soon thereafter, many hands appeared and the red-shirt lady initiated to move the fallen branches aside," he added.

 

The woman in red, Ms Jana Lauren, is the wife of former national athlete and discus king James Wong, a 10-time SEA Games champion.

"Thanks everyone. The lady in red is my wife and she is happy to help anyone in need of help. She fell while pulling some branches but she is fine now. Thanks," Mr Wong said in a comment on Facebook.

Ms Lauren, an athletics coach, told The Straits Times that she was coaching at the practice track nearby when she heard a crash and saw tree branches coming down.

The van was smoking, and the driver was trapped by the branches pressing on the van door.

"Thank God driver was not really injured," said Ms Lauren, who is from Germany and has lived in Singapore for 16 years.

She and a few others moved the tree to get the driver out, and they helped the van driver, who was limping slightly, out of the van.

Ms Lauren said she fell when they were trying to pull the branches away from the other car lane.

"We tried to pull the tree away from the other lane, I grabbed a loose branch, and fell over," she said. "I'm pretty sporty, so it didn't really hurt me."

One of her athletes and another coach also stopped to help, she added.

The video, taken with Mr Lee's dashcam, had more than 15,000 views two hours after it was posted online.

Many Facebook users left positive comments praising the people who pitched in.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said that a man in his 40s sustained minor injuries in the accident but refused to be taken to hospital.

It sent two fire bikes and one ambulance to the scene.

Last Monday, a group of passers-by also banded together to move a tree that fell along Kaki Bukit Avenue 1. Twenty people joined hands to move the tree to the side of the road.