SINGAPORE - Motorcyclists should not only keep a safe stand-off distance from heavy vehicles but also avoid placing themselves in blind spots behind such vehicles, said a coroner on Wednesday (April 26).
State Coroner Marvin Bay said a Malaysian rider's sad death especially demonstrates the very real dangers present in the all too common practice of motorcyclists weaving in and manoeuvring through the spaces between lanes, while these lanes are being used by heavy vehicles.
He was giving his findings at an inquest into the death of marine trades worker Loh Fook Siong who was run over by a trailer after losing control of his motorcycle.
The 42-year-old, who lived in Masai, Johor, was on his way home after work on Nov 24 last year (2016) when he overtook a tipper truck and entered into a gap between the trailer, on his left, and a tanker, to his right.
Tipper truck driver Lim Lam Peng, who was directly behind his colleague's trailer at the extreme left lane, witnessed the tragedy unfold.
He saw the brake lights of Mr Loh's motorcycle light up after he squeezed into the gap.
Seconds later, the bike's handle bar hit the tanker. Mr Loh's motorcycle wobbled, and fell in front of the rear right tyres of the trailer.
Trailer driver Chew Ah Chye was then moving off after having stopped earlier at the signalised junction of West Coast Highway when the lights were red. He did this after checking his mirrors first and ensuring it was clear of oncoming motorcycles from the rear.
But six seconds later, he heard a loud sound from his rear, and felt his vehicle driving over a hump. He immediately stopped, and found Mr Loh lying beside his motorcycle. Mr Loh suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead at 6.31pm.
The gap between the trailer and the tanker was "too small" for Mr Loh to pass through safely, said Mr Lim.
Earlier that evening, Mr Loh had sent his wife a message to drive carefully while heading home from work.
Coroner Bay said Mr Loh had "unwisely" sought to ride in between the two heavy vehicles at a point when the two vehicles were beginning to move after a change in the traffic light signal.
Mr Loh's death, he said, is a "truly unfortunate traffic misadventure".