PORT DICKSON - Malaysian police on Thursday (Jan 4) obtained a four-day remand order against the driver of a tipper truck that crashed into the car of a Singaporean family in the town of Port Dickson, killing all four of them.
Three hearses containing the four bodies left Port Dickson Hospital at 5.50pm on Thursday. They will be escorted by Port Dickson police to the Seremban-Johor highway as a gesture of goodwill, said the town's police chief Zainudin Ahmad.
The bodies will be buried at Choa Chu Kang Muslim Cemetery on Thursday night.
The 54-year-old suspect, clad in standard lockup attire, was taken to the Port Dickson Magistrate's Court court at 8.35am on Thursday for the application of the remand extension to assist with the investigation, Malaysian media reports said.
The truck crashed into the family's multi-purpose vehicle, a Honda Stream, and three other vehicles at around 2.30pm at a T-junction in Jalan Lukut Sepang on Wednesday.
A preliminary probe has found that the driver was going downhill when he apparently lost control of the vehicle. A video of the crash showed that the truck was speeding through the intersection before colliding into the vehicles.
Mr Rosli Samad, 54, who was driving the family in the Honda Stream, died en route to Seremban Hospital. The passengers - his wife, Madam Maimunah Sapari, 51, and his two daughters, Ms Nur Amalina Rosli, 21, and Ms Dayana Sarah Rosli, 18 - died at the scene and were taken to Port Dickson Hospital. They were believed to have been travelling on holiday.
The Straits Times understands that Mr Rosli was the owner of R S Bikes Centre, a motorcycle dealership in Kaki Bukit. He also has two older sons - one of whom helps him manage the dealership - but they did not go along for the trip.
Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported that the eldest son did not go on the trip because his wife was about to give birth, while the second son had stayed behind to look after the motorcycle business.
Mr Rosli's brother, who lives in Johor, arrived on Wednesday night to identify the bodies.
Mr Rosli's eldest son, along with other members of the family, was at the Port Dickson Hospital on Thursday morning. He was teary-eyed and distraught as he was comforted by family members. When approached by The Straits Times, he apologised and said he was unable to speak to the press.
At least three Singapore-registered cars and several motorbikes were seen at the hospital. The family members were also seen consoling Mr Rosli's oldest sister when she broke down. The group later headed to Seremban Hospital, where a post-mortem on Mr Rosli's body was done.
All of the bodies have since been released to the family.
Mr Rosli's second son has remained in Singapore to settle burial arrangements, according to his aunt.
Based on preliminary investigations, the truck coming from Sepang hit the motorcycle before skidding onto the opposite lane and hitting a Perodua Myvi, a Mercedes-Benz and the family's Honda Stream.
The motorcycle rider was injured while the occupants in the other vehicles were not seriously injured.
One witness, 23-year-old Emera Hamid, a saleswoman at a sundry shop located adjacent to the crash site described how the truck crashed into the Honda Stream. "Seconds before the incident, the truck was going downhill and it looked like the driver was speeding," she said.
"The lorry driver tried to run away after the accident, prompting passers-by to chase him. Some people even started throwing rocks in a bid to immobilise him. He then ran to a shop nearby but was thrown out by the owners before running away."
A cabby who witnessed the accident and who wanted to be identified only as Mr Kay said he saw the driver speeding before knocking into a motorcyclist and crashing over the road barrier. The truck then entered the opposite lane where it rammed into the Perodua MyVi, a Mercedes-Benz and finally, the Honda Stream, Mr Kay said.
A police spokesman said on Wednesday that the driver ran off after the accident but later gave himself up at the Lukut police station.
The driver's blood and urine samples tested negative for alcohol and drugs, Mr Zainudin, the police chief, told The Straits Times. But he said the samples had been sent to the Chemistry Department to see if there are other elements in his system.
A background check on the driver also found that he has a clean record.
The driver told police during questioning that the truck's brake had failed. Police, however, will be sending the truck to the Malaysian computerised vehicle inspection company Puspakom on Friday for a thorough check, Mr Zainudin added.
Mr Azman Mohamed, a long-time friend and customer of Mr Rosli Samad's, said he was shocked to hear of the tragedy. He visited Mr Rosli's motorcycle dealership, R S Bikes Centre, at 6pm on Wednesday to lubricate his bike chain, but found it closed. After being unable to contact Mr Rosli, he called his younger son Hamka, who told him about the accident.
"I heard people crying when he answered the phone. I saw the news about it but I didn't know it was Rosli," said Mr Azman, who added that the family is survived by Hamka and his brother Asyraf.
The family was close, with Hamka sharing his father's passion for motorcycles and helping his father to run the business and learn the trade, said Mr Azman.
The motorcycle dealership is closed until further notice, it said in a post on its Facebook page on Wednesday.
Mr Azman, a part-time security guard, said he met Mr Rosli in 1992, when the latter was working at a workshop in Bukit Merah. Mr Rosli, a skilled mechanic, later started his own dealership in Eunos, before moving to Kaki Bukit under the name R S Bikes Centre about eight years ago. Mr Rosli's initials form the name of the dealership, said Mr Azman, 55.
"He was friendly, always with a smile, and very knowledgeable - the moment you came into his workshop he could spot what the problem with the bike was. He was also very honest - some take advantage and change everything to make money, but if the brake pad was still in good condition, he would say, 'don't change'. He would fix what needed to be fixed and ask you to go."
Mr Rosli occasionally accompanied biker groups touring countries such as Thailand and Malaysia in his van to help with bike repairs, said Mr Azman.