WELCOME TO EDITION 806 of GRAPEVINE
No one survived in this BMW
Lunar New Year of the Ox started badly in Singapore.
Five young men lost their lives in a horrific crash when their speeding BMW slammed into a vacant shop-house shortly before 5.40 am Saturday 13 February (this was the time the Singapore Civil Defence Force was alerted to a fire at 37 Tanjong Pagar Road).
The crash resulted in the highest number of fatalities in a single road accident for the decade in Singapore.
Four of the deceased worked at Aviva Financial Advisers.
They were the driver Jonathan Long (29), Eugene Yap (29), Elvin Tan Yong Hao (28), Teo Qi Xiang (26) and Gary Wong Hong Chieh (29) who had also formerly worked at Aviva.
In a Straits Times newspaper report, a lady friend of the driver – and his girlfriend – is quoted as saying:
“Both Jon (Jonathan Long) and Raybe are close friends of mine. Young, driven and kind-hearted. Like many youngsters, they do have their playful side but never (meant) to harm anybody.”
Raybe Oh Siew Huey (26) was not in the car but attempted to save her boyfriend. She tried opening the door of the car when it was still burning. The former Singapore Airlines stewardess suffered 80% burns to her body and is now fighting for her life in ICU in the Singapore General Hospital.
Four who died, clockwise from top left: Jonathan Long, Eugene Yap, Gary Wong Hong Chieh, and Elvin Tan Young Hao. Photos from Facebook and Instagram
Former Singapore Airlines stewardess Raybe Oh Siew Huey (26) tried to open the door of the blazing car to save her boyfriend. She suffered 80% to her body and is fighting for her life
No one would wish for such a horrific pair of tragedies to befall anybody.
Yet, I find it hard to understand Jonathan Long’s friend who said he has his ‘playful side and never meant to harm anybody’.
Watch these videos of the speeding car on the narrow two-way public road and make your own judgement:
(scroll down to SG Road Vigilante for the video)
Tanjong Pagar Road is a narrow stretch populated by bars, restaurants, and bridal shops. The area also has hotels, a 24-hour supermarket, 24-hour convenience shops, 24-hour eateries, and residential flats (No 37 is boarded up)
I live not far from Tanjong Pagar.
The stretch of conservation houses is full of bars, Korean and Japanese restaurants, and bridal shops. There are also hotels, a 24-hour supermarket, 24-hour convenience shops, 24-hour eateries, and residential HDB or Housing Development Board flats.
Even around 5 in the morning, there would be some pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists. The speed limit is 50 kph.
If anyone of them were stepping out onto – or already along – the same stretch of road as the speeding BMW*, it is unlikely they would survive an impact from the car.
Our hearts go out to the parents and loved ones of all the victims.
Wishing you All the Very Best in the Year of the Ox.
*Nothing is sacred to some Singaporeans. In the same afternoon of the horrific accident, Singapore Pools – the betting agency of the gaming lottery – stopped accepting bets on the number 1441, the registration plate of the BMW because too many people were betting on 1441. “4”, incidentally, is considered an unlucky number because it is a homophone for “death” in the Cantonese, Fujian and Mandarin dialects. As it turned out, 1441 was not a winning number.