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TheBigStory
 

Outpouring of grief over brothers' deaths

Published on Jan 30, 2013 9:50 AM
 
A funeral services assistant setting up photographs of brothers Donavan, seven, and Nigel Yap, 13, at the void deck of the Tampines Street 44 block where they lived. The boys were cycling home on Monday afternoon when they were killed by a cement mixer truck. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM

THE two brothers were close - both in life and in death.

Nigel Yap, 13, and his younger brother Donavan, seven, shared everything from food to toys. In a tragic twist, they ended up sharing the same wake at the void deck of their flat in Tampines yesterday.

The brothers were cycling home on Monday afternoon when they were killed by a cement mixer truck in Tampines. The nature of the accident - and the gruesome photographs which circulated afterwards on the Internet - led to an outpouring of grief and pledges to improve road safety.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong offered his condolences on his Facebook page and called on Singaporeans to show sensitivity to the boys' family.

In another Facebook post, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat vowed to step up road safety education in schools.

MP for Tampines GRC Baey Yam Keng has also asked the Housing Board and Land Transport Authority to look into a safer route that heavy vehicles can take in his constituency, one that is not near schools or pedestrian crossings.

But for Nigel and Donavan, a pair known for being "friendly and sensible", it is too late.

More than 900 messages of condolence were left on The Straits Times' Facebook page yesterday, while flowers and candles were placed at the accident scene. Several parties have also pledged donations to the family.

Even strangers turned up at their wake.

The boys' mother, Madam Suliani Ang, 38, could not contain her sorrow when she saw the coffins yesterday.

Looking at her two sons, she cried: "Stay in heaven to wait for us."

stgoh@sph.com.sg

derrickh@sph.com.sg

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