Taxi rams into eatery in Toa Payoh, driver hurt

There were no diners at the eatery at the time of the incident as it had just opened for dinner. The restaurant's workers were all in the kitchen, said its owner.
There were no diners at the eatery at the time of the incident as it had just opened for dinner. The restaurant's workers were all in the kitchen, said its owner.ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

Driver stepped on accelerator instead of brake while making three-point turn in carpark

Beautician Rachel Huang, 42, was working at a nail parlour near Braddell MRT station when she was startled by a loud crash.

Rushing out of the shop, she found a yellow CityCab had smashed into the Thai Lily Restaurant just a few metres away.

She said the driver appeared to be in a daze when he was helped out of the Hyundai Sonata. There was blood on the side of his head.

"He had tried to get out of the driver's side, but the door wouldn't open," said Ms Huang.

The police said they were alerted to the accident at Block 107, Toa Payoh Lorong 1, at 5.19pm yesterday. The 61-year-old male driver was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The Straits Times understands that no one else was injured.

A spokesman for ComfortDelGro, which runs CityCab, said the driver was making a three-point turn but accidentally stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake. This caused the taxi to surge forward into the shop. "Our cabby sustained slight injuries and is now recuperating in hospital. We are in touch with the shop owner and will be assisting the police in their investigations," she added.

Residents said there were no diners at the time of the accident as the eatery had just opened for dinner. The restaurant owner, who wanted to be known only as Mr Kiat, said his workers were in the kitchen at the back of the outlet.

"The damage is mainly to the pillar at the entrance and a few tables and chairs. I hope it will be safe to reopen soon, as we need to continue paying rent," said the 19-year-old, who started the business about nine months ago. The monthly rent is about $9,600, according to landlord Albert Chow.

Ms Chris Hwang, 51, who had parked her car nearby as she was shopping at bakery supplier Phoon Huat next door to the Thai eatery, said the rear of her eight-year-old car was dented and scratched. She said: "I was heartbroken but my husband calmed me down, and told me that I was lucky I was not hurt."

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Watch the taxi being towed away. http://str.sg/4MiC

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2016, with the headline 'Taxi rams into eatery in Toa Payoh, driver hurt'. Print Edition | Subscribe