Lucky Plaza accident: Woman who died was sole breadwinner in family

Mr Jhef Umoquit Leste said that the death of his mother, Ms Abigail Danao Leste, 41, shocked his family.
Mr Jhef Umoquit Leste said that the death of his mother, Ms Abigail Danao Leste, 41, shocked his family.PHOTO: JHEF UMOQUIT LESTE/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Ms Abigail Danao Leste - one of two women who died after being hit by a car at Lucky Plaza on Sunday (Dec 29) - was the sole breadwinner of her family. Now that she is dead, her two children are at a loss.

"We don't know what we are going to do now that she is gone. We don't know where to start," her 21-year-old daughter Jackie Lyne Leste told The Straits Times.

Her mother, who was 41, was separated from her husband and was the only one supporting the family, said Ms Leste, who has an older brother who is 22.

A car making a U-turn in Nutmeg Road on Sunday afternoon had careened into the sidewalk where Ms Abigail Leste and five of her close friends were having a picnic.

The car slammed through a metal railing, hitting the six women – all domestic workers – sending four of them plunging several metres down to the exit lane of Lucky Plaza’s carpark. 

Ms Leste, who had worked in Singapore for more than 20 years, had planned to go back home to Cagayan in the Philippines, to attend her daughter's graduation ceremony, said the younger Ms Leste, who is finishing a degree in hospitality industry management.

Instead, she and her brother Jhef Umoquit Leste are now waiting for their mother's body to arrive.

Their relatives in Singapore are helping to make the arrangements, said Ms Leste, who has an aunt working here.

Ms Leste, who is unmarried, has a two-year-old son named John Benedict whom her mother doted on. The last time they spoke on the phone, on the same day the accident happened, her mother had told her to take good care of her son, Ms Leste said.

In a Facebook post on Monday, her brother said: "We can't go on without you".


Sisters Arceli (left) and Arlyn Nucos were among six Filipino victims in the car crash at Lucky Plaza on Dec 29, 2019. Ms Arlyn Nucos later died from her injuries at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. PHOTO: ARLYN NUCOS / FACEBOOK

"Ma, what are we going to do now? You even called us yesterday and we had a good conversation. And then something happened to you," he wrote in Ilocano, a dialect commonly spoken by people in the northern part of the Philippines including Cagayan, in the north-eastern part of Luzon island.

The siblings have not seen their mother since 2016, he added.

 
 
 

"Please come home alive even though our lives won't be easy... I will wait here with my younger sibling. You're the only one left to help us."

The six victims of the accident were a close-knit group. Two of the women - Ms Arlyn Picar Nucos, 50, who died, and Ms Arceli, 56, who was injured and remains warded at Tan Tock Seng Hospital - were siblings.

Two in the group of six are believed to be relatives: Ms Egnal Layugan Limbauan, 43, and Ms Demet Limbauan Limbauan, 37. While Ms Demet has since been discharged, Ms Egnal is hospitalised.

The last woman in the group, Ms Laila Flores Laudencia, 44, has also been discharged.

Additional reporting by Clement Yong