SINGAPORE - A GrabFood delivery rider has been arrested over a bicycle collision that left an eight-year-old girl in hospital with an eye injury.
The man is believed to have accidentally knocked the child over on a footpath, leaving her covered in blood and shards of glass from her smashed spectacles.
Her mother, Mrs Sathiya, told The Straits Times she screamed when she saw what had happened to her daughter, who has since had eye surgery.
She said: "I panicked so hard, I cried. I thought, 'What if she goes blind? Will her vision be able to be back to normal?' I didn't know what to do."
Mrs Sathiya, a 38-year-old accountant who goes by one name, said they were walking home from school with another mother-and-daughter pair on Friday (Jan 15), when they saw the man riding towards them on the footpath in Bukit Batok Street 52.
He was not cycling too fast but Mrs Sathiya instinctively nudged her daughter and the other girl behind her. Suddenly, after the bicycle had passed them, she heard a piercing scream and a loud thud.
Turning around, she saw her daughter, a Primary 2 pupil at the nearby Lianhua Primary School, lying on the ground with blood all over her face.
Mrs Sathiya screamed and quickly lifted the girl up. Her daughter's glasses were smashed and there were shards on her face and on the ground.
Several passers-by rushed to help. They tried to calm a tearful Mrs Sathiya, while a man used cotton wool to help stem the girl's bleeding.
Mrs Sathiya said the man on the bicycle was apologetic and started crying as well.
As she tried to phone her husband, her friend called an ambulance.
Responding to queries from the ST, police said they have arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of a negligent act causing grievous hurt. He is assisting with the ongoing investigation.
A GrabFood spokesman said the man is a delivery partner, who has since been suspended.
Speaking to the ST by phone from the National University Hospital, where her daughter is receiving treatment, Mrs Sathiya said her daughter had eye surgery last Friday and is expected to have a second operation next week.
The permanent resident came to Singapore around 12 years ago with her husband, 39, an engineer with a local company. They have a 16-month-old daughter back home in Tamil Nadu, India.
On Monday, a teacher and vice-principal from the girl's school visited her in hospital.
Mrs Sathiya said she is concerned about her daughter's medical bills and is checking if the girl was eligible for insurance. She added that her only focus now is to ensure that her daughter's vision returns to normal.
If convicted of causing grievous hurt by performing a negligent act, the 18-year-old could be jailed for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.