Lucky Plaza accident: 1 of two killed was sole breadwinner in family

Mr Jhef Umoquit Leste in a photo he posted on Facebook to mourn the death of his mother, Ms Abigail Danao Leste, a domestic worker who had worked in Singapore for more than 20 years. PHOTO: JHEF UMOQUIT LESTE/FACEBOOK
Mr Jhef Umoquit Leste in a photo he posted on Facebook to mourn the death of his mother, Ms Abigail Danao Leste, a domestic worker who had worked in Singapore for more than 20 years. PHOTO: JHEF UMOQUIT LESTE/FACEBOOK

Mother of two was planning to return to Philippines to attend daughter's graduation

Ms Abigail Danao Leste, who died after being hit by a car near Lucky Plaza shopping mall on Sunday, was her family's sole breadwinner.

Her two children in the Philippines are now at a loss. "We don't know what we are going to do now that she is gone. We don't know where to start," her 21-year-old daughter Jackie Lyne Leste told The Straits Times yesterday.

The 41-year-old Ms Leste was separated from her husband, who does not provide for the family, said her daughter, whose brother Jhef Umoquit is aged 22.

A car making a U-turn in Nutmeg Road on Sunday afternoon had careened into the sidewalk, where the older Ms Leste and five of her close friends were having a picnic.

The car slammed through a metal railing, hitting the six women - all domestic workers - sending four of them plunging several metres down to the exit lane of Lucky Plaza's carpark.

Ms Leste had worked in Singapore for more than 20 years and was planning to return home to Cagayan in the Philippines to attend the graduation ceremony of her daughter, who received a degree in hospitality industry management.

Ms Jackie Lyne Leste, who has an aunt working here, said her relatives in Singapore are helping to make arrangements for her mother's body to be sent home.

She has a two-year-old son named John Benedict whom her mother doted on, she added.

In their last telephone conversation a few hours before the accident, her mother told her to take good care of her son, said Ms Leste, who is not married.

 
 
 
 

In a Facebook post on Monday, her brother Jhef Umoquit Leste wrote a poignant message to their mother: "We can't go on without you. Ma, what are we going to do now? You even called us yesterday and we had a good conversation. And then something happened to you," he wrote in Ilocano, a dialect commonly spoken by people living in the northern Philippines, including Cagayan in the north-eastern part of Luzon island.

The siblings had not seen their mother since 2016, he added.

He wrote: "Please come home alive even though our lives won't be easy... I will wait here with my younger sibling. You're the only one left to help us."

The six victims of the accident were a close-knit group.

The other maid who succumbed to her injuries was 50-year-old Arlyn Picar Nucos. Her sibling Arceli Nucos, 56, is warded at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Two people in the group - Ms Egnal Layugan Limbauan, 43, and Ms Demet Limbauan Limbauan, 37 - are believed to be relatives.

Ms Egnal is still in hospital while Ms Demet has been discharged.

The sixth victim, Ms Laila Flores Laudencia, 44, has also been discharged.

• Additional reporting by Clement Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2020, with the headline '1 of two killed was sole breadwinner in family'. Print Edition | Subscribe