On March 22 this year, 72-year-old taxi driver, who didn’t know he had a tumour in his liver, suddenly blacked out while driving along Queensway, causing his vehicle to hit pedestrians at a traffic crossing. He lost his consciousness as the tumour in his liver unexpectedly ruptured.
It is said that How Yuen Fah’s taxi hit at least three pedestrians, including an elderly woman, at a traffic light which was then showing the green man signal.
Due to the impact of the accident, 66-year-old Tng Yew Huay was immediately rushed to the National University Hospital (NUH) where she later succumbed to her head injury at around 9.20pm that day.
The other pedestrians survived the accident.
Following an inquiry on Wednesday (18 September), State Coroner Kamala Ponnanpalam revealed that the accident had been an “unfortunate traffic misadventure”.
The state coroner told The Straits Times (ST) that Mr How was sent to NUH and a scan showed that his tumour ruptured. Besides that, he also underwent a surgery and other medical investigations which pointed out that he had hepatocellular carcinoma, a cancer of the liver.
As such, she said that, “The doctore who treated him clarified that the tumour rupture caused severe bleeding into the involved party’s abdomen and a loss of blood flow to his brain.”
She added, “The doctor also clarified that this caused the transient period of loss of consciousness. Based on the evidence uncovered, there is no basis to suspect foul play.”
How it all started
During the inquiry, it was found that Mr How began driving his taxi at about 6.30pm on 22 March. ST reported that he felt fine at that time and was well rested before he started his shift.
However, he felt a sharp pain in his right abdomen after picking up three passengers at a taxi stand at Bishan Road. The pain eventually went away.
But, the pain came back when he was travelling along Commonwealth Avenue West towards Queensway. This time he also felt pain in his neck, his vision became blurry and he started breaking out in cold sweat.
To feel better, he applied medicated oil on his forehead and nose.
Soon after that, Mr How stopped at the junction of Jalan Bukit Merah as the traffic lights turned red.
According to the state coroner, she said that Mr Ho remembered signalling right before he lost his consciousness.
This was when his car beat the red light and suddenly veered and plowed into pedestrians crossing the road.
“When he regained consciousness, he heard the front seat passenger..shouting at him,” said the state coroner.
After he woke out, Mr How said that he felt pain at the right side of his stomach. He also realised that his vehicle’s windscreen was cracked and he was already at the junction of Alexandra Road.
He also noted that he didn’t know that a collision had happened.
Here’s a video of accident published by ST.
Upon reading this news, many netizens felt sorry for Mr How for this unfortunate incident and hopes he recovers soon. Writing in the Facebook pages of Mothership and ST, they also said that Mr How must have felt horrible to regain his unconsciousness and know that he killed someone.
Besides that, a large number of them also question the need for a 72-year-old man to work at such an old age. They said that he should be retired and rest at home but is forced to work as he might not have enough savings to survive in this country.
Others suggested that elderly workers should go for general health screening so this kind of unfortunate accident can be prevented. Some proposed that “all driving lessons should include a part to teach people what to do if they themselves have a medical emergency”. By doing so, they will know what they should do if they encounter such a situation.