One year on, Eleanor remains in hearts of family and friends

Madam Jacelyn Wong with her daughter, Eleanor Tan Si Xuan. Eleanor was killed in a car accident on Oct 9 last year.
Madam Jacelyn Wong with her daughter, Eleanor Tan Si Xuan. Eleanor was killed in a car accident on Oct 9 last year.PHOTO: Courtesy of JACELYN WONG

Madam Jacelyn Wong, 25, has a three-year-old son and is expecting another boy in February.

But to the housewife and her husband, they will always be a family with three children.

They lost their four-year-old daughter, Eleanor Tan Si Xuan, on Oct 9 last year in a fatal car accident.

Eleanor had been on the way home from school with the family's maid, Ms Su Su Hlaing, 38, and the pair were crossing the road near Bukit Batok Central when they were hit by a car.

They were taken to the hospital, where Eleanor died of her injuries and Ms Su Su Hlaing needed weeks to recover.

Yesterday, more than a year after Eleanor's death, the driver, Sai Mee Chun, 54, was sentenced to six weeks' jail and disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for five years.

The former condominium manager had pleaded guilty to causing death by driving in a negligent manner.

For Madam Wong, who is seven months pregnant, it finally feels like closure.

"We didn't actively ask for updates on his case because it doesn't make a difference," she said. "We want our memories of Eleanor to be about us (as a family), and not about him and the accident."

Ms Su Su Hlaing no longer works for the family.

 
 
 

Their grief has been assuaged a little by the coming addition to the family. Madam Wong found out she was pregnant in June.

"The new baby gave us motivation and we started preparing for the new adventure," said Madam Wong.

"It did divert our attention away from our loss, but Eleanor will always be part of the family."

Her daughter's former kindergarten teachers, classmates and their parents also keep Eleanor, who they described as a bubbly and cheerful girl, close to their hearts.

Last week, they presented Madam Wong with letters and a graduation gift in memory of their classmate, who would have graduated from kindergarten, at a recent ceremony at the school.

"She might not be with us physically, but she exists in all our hearts," said Madam Wong.

Madam Wong faces an almost daily reminder of the accident when she takes her son to and from school as they have to go past the scene of the fatal accident. He goes to the same school that his sister attended in Bukit Batok.

"In the beginning we would cry whenever we walked past. But now, we say a little prayer for Eleanor."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2018, with the headline 'One year on, Eleanor remains in hearts of family and friends'. Print Edition | Subscribe