The death of a 29-year-old Traffic Police officer in the line of duty yesterday has led to an outpouring of grief - with about 100 of his friends changing their Facebook profile photos to show a horizontal blue stripe across a black-and-white Singapore flag or black background.
Staff Sergeant Nadzrie Matin, who joined the force in 2009, was involved in a traffic accident along Serangoon Road, near Kinta Road, at about 10.40am while on patrol on a Traffic Police motorcycle.
A 52-year-old driver of a vehicle involved in the accident - said to be a black van - has been arrested for a negligent act causing death.
It is not clear if Staff Sergeant Nadzrie's motorcycle hit the van or something else while trying to avoid it, but it is believed that he was thrown off his vehicle upon impact.
Police did not give further details of how the accident happened, and said investigations are ongoing.
The officer was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where he later died of his injuries, police said.
Commissioner of Police Hoong Wee Teck expressed his condolences to the family.
"I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Staff Sergeant Nadzrie. He was a dedicated and well-liked officer. We will do everything possible to assist his family during this difficult period," he said.
Videos and photos which were posted online showed a Traffic Police motorcycle on a grass patch, with a uniformed man lying nearby. There was a pool of blood near his head. Paramedics appeared to be performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him, as more than 20 people looked on.
Staff Sergeant Nadzrie's friends and the police appealed to members of the public not to circulate videos or images of the dead man out of respect for his family.
On Facebook, his friends expressed their condolences, with several citing his badge number - T09574. A former colleague, known as Najelin Ip on Facebook, wrote in a post: "Although I did not know you well at our ex-division, knowing you was a great pleasure because you... were sincere and, of course, the laughter in the team.
"Today, when I heard the news, I could not hold back my tears as it had happened so suddenly."
Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin wrote in a Facebook post that he had visited the officer's family yesterday evening. "We salute (him) and grieve with his family... No words can adequately console. But I hope it will lighten the family's burden knowing that Nadzrie was an outstanding, dedicated police officer, well-liked and respected by his commanders and peers."
The last time that a Traffic Police officer died in the line of duty is believed to be in 2005, when volunteer special constable Seah Ben Hur was killed by a tipper truck which failed to stop at a routine police road block.
Paramedics tend to victim at accident scene. str.sg/4Lx4