In October 2017, our hearts broke when we heard of the death of four-year-old Eleanor Wong in a Bukit Batok car accident. The family’s domestic helper, who was with the little girl at the time of the accident, was severely injured. Now, over a year after the tragedy, the driver in Bukit Batok accident has been served a jail term.
The driver in Bukit Batok accident has been given a jail term of six weeks. Image: file photo
That fateful day (9 October 2017), Jacelyn Wong stayed back home to cook her daughter Eleanor’s favourite steamed eggs for dinner. She sent her maid to pick the child from preschool.
But for some reason, she felt uneasy that the little one hadn’t reached home yet. She waited until 8 pm, thinking that maybe there had been a train disruption.
“All mothers have a sixth sense; I felt disturbed when I was cooking” she said. It was then that she received the dreaded call from the hospital.
Eleanor and her maid had been hit by a car near Bukit Batok West Avenue 2, as they were crossing the road. They were both rushed to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. The child was pronounced dead at the hospital. The maid suffered multiple fractures.
On 22 October 2018, the 54-year-old driver in Bukit Batok accident — Sai Mee Chun — was charged in court with negligent driving that caused the little girl’s death.
Nothing will bring back this sweet little girl.
Driver in Bukit Batok accident given jail term
On December 6, Sai was sentenced to six weeks of jail. A five-year driving ban was also imposed on him. According to Channel News Asia, Sai “pleaded guilty to one charge of causing the death of Eleanor Tan Si Xuan by a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide.”
The former condominium manager was also charged with causing “grievous hurt” to the domestic helper who was with Eleanor when the accident happened.
On the day of the accident:
- Sai was driving his car toward Bukit Batok West Avenue 2 along Bukit Batok Central. He was on his way to meet his father.
- He had been driving at a speed of 60kmh in a 50kmh speed limit zone.
- Eleanor was walking home after kindergarten with her family’s helper. Instead of crossing at the nearby overhead bridge, they walked across the road.
- Sai (who was driving on a straight road) did not notice the pair. He saw them “only when they were less than half a car length away from him,” says CNA. But it was too later. Both girl and woman were hit by his car and flung in the air.
Reportedly, Sai gave his full assistance to the police in their investigation. His defense lawyer is quoted by CNA as saying, “the loss of a young life will forever remain in his mind”.
Road safety for families
Justice has been served but still, nothing will bring back that little girl. If we learned anything from her death, it is to always keep road safety in mind when travelling with a child.
Also, always caution all caregivers of your child about staying safe on the roads. This includes grandparents, helpers and anyone else who is involved in caring for your child.
This safety reminder is applicable to us as parents too.
- Do not get distracted by your phone, other devices or music, especially if you are with a child.
- It’s best not to let little ones ride their kick scooters or bikes along the main road as they can easily lose control of these, as well as speed ahead of you.
- When waiting at a pedestrian crossing, always stand well back from the road. Ensure your child’s stroller or pram is not jutting out onto the road while you wait.
- Even at a pedestrian crossing, cross with care. Do not attempt to dash across in the last couple of seconds (e.g. when the ‘green man’ starts to flash) especially with a child.
- Hold the child’s hand at all times.
- Never jaywalk. Crossings are there for a reason.
Source: Channel NewsAsia