Retired midwife, 81, fatally run over by tipper truck in road traffic accident: Inquest

SINGAPORE - An 81-year-old woman was pulling a stack of cardboard sheets when she was run over by a tipper truck near the junction of Henderson Road and Jalan Bukit Merah in November last year, a coroner's inquiry found on Wednesday.

Retired nurse Chin Siat Keow died from multiple injuries in hospital about nine hours after the accident on Nov 30.

The coroner's inquiry into her death heard that tipper truck driver Toh Siong Thoh, 49, had stopped behind several unknown vehicles along Henderson Road due to the red traffic light at about 12.30pm that day.

He saw Madam Chin walking in the middle of the road against the flow of traffic and pulling a stack of cardboard along a slip road somewhere before the zebra crossing.

He shouted at her in Hokkien, to warn her to look out for cars but Madam Chin ignored him and continued to walk.

When the traffic lights turned green, the tipper truck moved forward.

A taxi driver, who was behind an unknown car and the truck in front of the car, was about to drive off when he saw Madam Chin proceeding to walk in the direction of the tipper truck.

Although cabby Leong Yin Fatt, 47, did not see the actual collision, he inferred that the truck must have run over Madam Chin. Madam Chin's body, in a lying position, was seen emerging from under the middle of the tipper truck.

There was no visible damage found on the tipper truck. Madam Chin's severe injuries included fractures and injuries to her pelvis and lumbar spine.

State Coroner Marvin Bay said in his findings on Wednesday that the distribution of the extensive and scattered pattern of her other injuries suggested that they were sustained from being knocked down to the ground.

He said he was satisfied that Mr Toh's vehicle hit Madam Chin.

He said it should have occurred to Mr Toh that given the nature of Madam Chin's load, she would be likely to take short-cuts to walk the shortest route between two points, which she evidently, and fatefully, did.

"Mr Toh did not think to check, while seated in an elevated position of the cab of his tipper truck 2.2 m from the ground, for a lady who was 1.47 m in height hauling her precious cargo of cardboard sheets, who might be straying into his path,'' he said.

He felt that this played a role in the unfortunate confluence of events in the road traffic accident, contributed by both Mr Toh and Madam Chin.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.