Soon after the death of 2 polytechnic students that was attributed to the non-use of safety belts at the back seats, another death of 3 happened just barely 1 week after the last incident. Here, all the passengers were reportedly flung out of the car and parallels were drawn with the previous accident. While I share my condolences with the families involved, I wonder what steps the authorities will take to enforce the safety belt rule.

THE four men had piled into the car for some late-night shopping to transform the rented Hyundai into a bridal car for a wedding in the morning.

But nuptial preparations ended in funeral arrangements for three friends after the car crashed before it reached Mustafa Centre at about 2.20am yesterday.

The sole survivor, Mr Mohammad Alif Mohamed Shah, 19, is in critical condition with head injuries in Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

His family members returned to the hospital last night to keep vigil after burying his elder brother, Mr Mohammad Khalil Mohamed Shah, in the afternoon.

He had died on the spot along with Mr Sunthereswaran Nadesan. Both were 23.

The third fatality was Mr Jaya Kumar Asokan, 27, who died of severe injuries in TTSH within 12 hours of the accident.

He was believed to have been behind the wheel of the silver

1.6 litre Hyundai Avante, which crashed along Dunearn Road towards Newton Circus, outside Chancery Court.

Police spokesman Stanley Norbert said the driver appeared to have lost control of the car, which skidded, hit a kerb and tree, then landed in the bushes next to a canal.

All four knew each other from the Redhill area.

The wedding they were preparing for went ahead as planned at a Hindu temple yesterday at 10am. Missing from the celebrations, however, was the bride’s sister, who was the girlfriend of Mr Khalil.

She was at his funeral, with henna tattoos for the wedding still on her hands.

The 22-year-old student said Mr Khalil, who recently signed on as a Singapore Armed Forces technician, had gone out at night with his younger brother Alif and two other friends to buy decorations for the rented car.

The couple had been together for seven years and had plans to get married in August, she said.

The driver of the car, Mr Jaya Kumar, was also the designated chauffeur for the bridal car, said his brother Suresh Gumar, 21.

Mr Jaya Kumar, a bus driver, had asked his mother to iron the clothes he would have worn to the temple. But he never came home. ‘He was the son every father would want to have,’ said the brother.

One of two who died on the spot, Mr Sunthereswaran, had recently completed national service and was thinking of heading overseas for further studies.

Car rental company Automobil Leasing declined to comment. But the Hyundai is believed to be only a few months old and in good condition.

As all four occupants in yesterday’s crash were flung out of the vehicle, some parallels may be drawn with a similarly horrific crash about two weeks ago. Two polytechnic students – who were not belted up – died after the car they were in veered off Old Upper Thomson Road and smashed into a wall of trees.

The front-seat passenger and driver, who were both strapped in, survived.

Road fatalities continue to be a concern with 219 deaths last year, up from 190 in 2006.

Anyone with information on the latest crash can call the Traffic Police on 1800-547-1818.

joolin@sph.com.sg

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 10th February 2008



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