SINGAPORE - A 78-year-old woman was killed after a taxi reversed into her at high speed at a carpark in Bedok North Street 2 on Wednesday (March 30).
Madam Poh Ah Gin was collecting cardboard behind a coffeeshop at Block 123, when a 64-year-old taxi driver lost control of his Hyundai Sonata, mounted the kerb and crashed into her twice. Police said that the driver has been arrested for causing death by a negligent act.
A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said it was alerted to the accident at about 3.50pm and dispatched an ambulance. The woman, who was single and lived alone, was pronounced dead by paramedics on scene.
When The Straits Times arrived at about 6pm, the taxi had halted to a stop in front of a maroon car and silver van, which were both badly damaged by the impact. A lorry and two other vans parked behind these vehicles were also damaged.
Eyewitnesses said that they heard several tyre screeches and loud bangs at about 3pm. Mr Lim Kah Hong, a tow truck driver who about 20 metres away, said that he ran towards the taxi after he heard a deafening screech followed by a crash.
"I shouted at the taxi driver to stop, because I realised he had hit the woman. But his car continued to lunge back and forth, and he hit her again. She had collapsed onto the ground by then," the 35-year-old said.
He had instinctively reached out to open the taxi door to grab the car key, but he was unable to stop the engine as the vehicle was moving at a high speed.
A 62-year-old retiree, who wanted to be known as Mrs Lim, said that she saw two female doctors rush out from a nearby clinic.
One immediately performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, while the other placed an oxygen mask on the woman.
The impact had caused the woman to bleed severely from her knees and stomach.
A few of her siblings and relatives were seen at the scene talking to police officers, as more than 50 curious onlookers gathered nearby. Her younger brother would only say that she is the third child of 11 children.
The taxi driver's 27-year-old son, who wanted to be known only as Sam, said that his father was ending his shift and had been trying to park his car, when it suddenly surged backwards and hit the old woman.
He said: "My father is in a state of shock now. He doesn't know how it happened and he could only tell me that there was a problem with the car."
He added that his father has been driving a taxi for more than 20 years and has not had any traffic offences.
Neighbours said that the elderly woman had lived in a three-room flat on the ninth floor of the block for more than 20 years. However, she would often keep to herself.
Said a 50-year-old neighbour, who wanted to be known as Madam Sia: "I feel sad for the lady. Sometimes she would get lost trying to return to her unit, so I would guide her."
All the vehicles involved were towed away at 7pm.