Pioneer Road North accident: 47-year-old cyclist killed by bus was kind, optimistic woman

Ms Wong Lai Cheng, 47, was a hall operations assistant at Nanyang Technological University. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
Ms Wong's belongings were strewn on the road after the accident. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - Ms Wong Lai Cheng, the 47-year-old cyclist killed by a private bus that crashed through a road divider along Pioneer Road North on Thursday (Jan 12), was "a kind, optimistic woman" who often cycled to work.

A relative of Ms Wong told Lianhe Wanbao in a report on Friday (Jan 13) that Ms Wong, who was a hall operations assistant at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), had been on her way home when the accident happened on Thursday evening.

The accident occurred at around 6pm and involved the bus, a lorry and four cars along Pioneer Road North towards Nanyang Crescent, police told The Straits Times on Friday.

In-car camera footage from various vehicles show the bus careening down a slip road, crashing through a fence and hitting several cars, including a white BMW which seemingly took most of the impact.

Ms Wong, who was also hit on her bicycle, was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

The 29-year-old bus driver was was arrested for causing death by a negligent act.

Ms Wong's husband and 18-year-old daughter rushed to the scene and the distraught pair were seen comforted by relatives.

A neighbour of hers told Wanbao that Ms Wong was a kind, optimistic woman who often bought leftover vegetables from friends to give to others.

The driver of the white BMW that took a direct hit from the bus escaped with minor injuries to his right arm and knee and was discharged from Ng Teng Fong General Hospital on Thursday night. His wife and daughter, who were also in the car, are believed to be unhurt.

The BMW driver, who gave his name as Mr Salim, told Shin Min that the bus driver apologised to him and said his brakes were spoilt.

"He was going very fast and I was very lucky to have escaped. It's very sad that the cyclist died," he said.

Recalling the moments before the impact, Mr Salim said he was waiting for the lights to change when his wife, who was in the passenger seat, turned to speak to him. She then shouted "bus!" when she saw the vehicle rushing towards them but he could not react in time.

"I could only shield my face with my right arm and pray - hoping that my wife and my daughter behind would be safe," he said.

A spokesman for NTU told The Straits Times on Friday that the NTU community "is saddened by the passing of Madam Wong Lai Cheng".

"On behalf of the NTU community, NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson conveys deepest condolences to Mdm Wong's family," said the spokesman. "The university is assisting the family during this difficult time."

Police investigations are ongoing.

Correction Note: An earlier version of the story quoted a report that said Ms Wong had cancer. It has come to our attention that this is incorrect. We are sorry for the error.

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