SAF scholar and parents among those killed in Arizona car crash

Mr Justin Yeo Jun Xi, 22, was among the top A-level graduates in Dunman High School in 2013, and received the SAF Merit Scholarship in 2015. His sister Justlyn Yeo Jing Hui was the sole survivor in the silver Hyundai the Yeo family was travelling in.
Mr Justin Yeo Jun Xi, 22, was among the top A-level graduates in Dunman High School in 2013, and received the SAF Merit Scholarship in 2015. His sister Justlyn Yeo Jing Hui was the sole survivor in the silver Hyundai the Yeo family was travelling in.PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF JUSTIN YEO
Last Friday's incident, which occurred at about 2.21pm local time (5.21am last Saturday in Singapore), left a 70km stretch of the highway towards Grand Canyon closed for seven hours to allow for investigations to take place.
Last Friday's incident, which occurred at about 2.21pm local time (5.21am last Saturday in Singapore), left a 70km stretch of the highway towards Grand Canyon closed for seven hours to allow for investigations to take place.PHOTO: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

Sophomore at University of California, Berkeley, was on holiday with parents and younger sister

One of the victims of the fatal car crash in the United States last Friday has been identified as Singapore Armed Forces scholar Justin Yeo Jun Xi.

Mr Yeo, 22, a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, was on holiday with his parents and younger sister, who had flown over to visit him and other relatives living in the US.

The family was travelling north towards the Grand Canyon in a silver Hyundai when their car crossed the painted median and collided head-on with a green Dodge van. 

Mr Yeo was driving the car at the time of the accident. 

Mr Yeo's sister, Ms Justlyn Yeo Jing Hui, 19, survived, while Mr Yeo and his parents - Mr Yeo Heng Soon, 62, and Madam Chua Cher Hwee, 56 - were pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Yeo was among the top A-level graduates in Dunman High School in 2013, and received the SAF Merit Scholarship in 2015.

In university, he co-founded Dingo, an app that lets users easily notify friends when they have reached their intended destination, without having to send out text messages. He had also recently joined an entrepreneurship fraternity.

His sister is a first-year student at Nanyang Technological University's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information.

Ms Yeo is believed to have undergone surgery on her spine, and is in a stable condition after being transferred out of the intensive care unit. Relatives have flown over to the US to take care of her, according to reports.

The older Mr Yeo had been a renovation contractor, but suffered a stroke and was unable to work. His wife, an administrative worker, became the sole breadwinner.

 

A neighbour interviewed by Lianhe Wanbao said the Yeo siblings were polite to neighbours, filial and close to one another. They were often seen playing badminton together.

The Straits Times spoke to several of Mr Yeo's friends, who confirmed his death but declined to share more about the siblings.

When contacted, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also declined comment, citing respect for Ms Yeo's privacy.

Last Friday's incident, which occurred at about 2.21pm local time (5.21am last Saturday in Singapore), left a 70km stretch of the highway closed for seven hours to allow for investigations to take place.

The driver of the van, who is from Spain, also died at the scene.

Earlier news reports had suggested that the Yeo family had been travelling in the van.

A total of five people, including four Spanish passengers in the Dodge van, were injured, said a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2017, with the headline 'SAF scholar among dead in US car crash'. Print Edition | Subscribe