Taxi reverses into woman, 78, killing her

The elderly woman had been collecting cardboard boxes behind a coffee shop at Block 123 (above) in Bedok North Street 2 when the accident occurred. The taxi eventually came to a stop in front of a maroon car and silver van, both of which were damaged
The elderly woman had been collecting cardboard boxes behind a coffee shop at Block 123 (above) in Bedok North Street 2 when the accident occurred. The taxi eventually came to a stop in front of a maroon car and silver van, both of which were damaged by the impact. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN
The elderly woman had been collecting cardboard boxes behind a coffee shop at Block 123 in Bedok North Street 2 when the accident occurred. The taxi (above) eventually came to a stop in front of a maroon car and silver van, both of which were damaged
The elderly woman had been collecting cardboard boxes behind a coffee shop at Block 123 in Bedok North Street 2 when the accident occurred. The taxi (above) eventually came to a stop in front of a maroon car and silver van, both of which were damaged by the impact. ST PHOTO: MARCUS TAN

Driver arrested for causing death by negligent act, after he loses control of cab

A 78-year-old woman was killed yesterday when a taxi reversed into her twice at high speed as she collected cardboard boxes behind a coffee shop in Bedok North.

Madam Poh Ah Gin was in a carpark at Block 123 Bedok North Street 2 when a cabby lost control of his Hyundai Sonata, which mounted the pavement and crashed into her, before it "lunged back and forth". Police arrested the 64-year-old driver for causing death by a negligent act.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force was alerted to the accident at 3.50pm and sent an ambulance.

The woman, who was single and lived alone, was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

The taxi halted in front of a maroon car and silver van, which were both badly damaged by the impact. A lorry and two other vans were also involved in the accident.

Witnesses heard several tyre screeches and loud bangs at about 3pm. Tow truck driver Lim Kah Hong immediately ran towards the taxi after he heard the crash.

"I shouted at the taxi driver to stop because I realised he had hit the woman," the 35-year-old said. "But his car continued to lunge back and forth, and he hit her again. She had collapsed by then."

Mr Lim instinctively reached out to open the taxi door and grab the car key, but was unable to do so as the car was still moving.

A 62-year-old retiree, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Lim, said she saw two doctors rush out from a nearby clinic. One performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, while the other placed an oxygen mask on the woman.

A few of her siblings and relatives were seen at the scene talking to police officers, as more than 50 curious onlookers gathered. Her younger brother would only say that she was the third child of 11 children.

The taxi driver's 27-year-old son, who wanted to be known only as Sam, said his father was ending his shift and had been trying to park when the car surged backwards.

He said: "He is in a state of shock now. He doesn't know how it happened and he could only tell me there was a problem with the car." He added that his father has been a cabby for over 20 years and had never committed any traffic offences.

Neighbours said the woman lived in a unit on the ninth floor of Block 122 for more than 20 years. However, she often kept to herself. "I feel sad for her," said a 50-year-old neighbour who wanted to be known only as Madam Sia. "Sometimes she would get lost trying to return to her unit, so I would guide her."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2016, with the headline 'Taxi reverses into woman, 78, killing her'. Print Edition | Subscribe