Coroner: E-bike rider's death a misadventure
Elderly electric bike rider died after collision with prime mover on Lower Delta Road last October
State Coroner Marvin Bay yesterday ruled the death of an elderly man riding an electric bicycle along Lower Delta Road last October as a misadventure.
Mr Chan Kuan Choon, 81, had collided with a prime mover at about 10.15am on Oct 3, 2015. He was heading towards Chinatown to meet with friends when the accident occurred.
Mr Chan had died without knowing he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.
While three possibilities were explored during the coroner's inquiry, the "circumstances leading to the impact are unclear", Mr Bay said yesterday.
The collision happened roughly 25m from a carpark stop line near Block 104, Bukit Purmei Road, where Mr Chan had made a left turn into Lower Delta Road as Mr Wong Sin Kay's prime mover approached.
The trailer was delivering aluminium sheets to a construction site at Kampong Bahru.
The accident was described by Mr Bay as an "apparent side swipe collision". Traffic was then slow-moving.
The three scenarios were crosswind turbulence, Mr Chan veering into the vehicle's path when he feared it was too close to him and Mr Chan's unsteadiness.
Closed-circuit television footage at a Bukit Purmei carpark gantry captured Mr Chan making an unusually wide turn to the stop line at the bottom of the slope. The accident happened off camera.
Mr Bay said: "I am in broad agreement that these are very possible scenarios that led to the contact between Mr Chan's motorised bicycle and Mr Wong's lorry, and precipitated its catastrophic aftermath."
Investigating officer Station Inspector (SI) Francis Tay from Traffic Police said Mr Chan's body was found at the left rear tyre of the prime mover.
The gap between the trailer and a barricade at the roadside was 1.3m.
"The gap is actually sufficient (for Mr Chan to ride)," said SI Tay, 37.
But without independent witnesses, the police could not positively determine the manner in which the accident had occurred, SI Tay added.
A passenger in the prime mover, Mr Wong Lin Chin, told the court that moments before the accident, he had seen Mr Chan as the trailer neared a yellow box.
At that time, Mr Chan was somewhere near the white stop line on Bukit Purmei Road on Mr Wong Lin Chin's left.
As the trailer driver, Mr Wong, travelled slowly past the yellow box, he felt the prime mover "jump slightly on its left".
The driver said he had not seen Mr Chan at all as his focus was to the front and right of his vehicle.
Both the occupants of the trailer told the court they did not see Mr Chan riding alongside them.
An autopsy report revealed Mr Chan's cause of death as multiple injuries.
He had suffered fractures to his ribs, skull and left limb, along with massive crush injuries to the soft tissue of these areas.
He died not knowing he had cancer
His family did not tell him that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.
They were concerned Mr Chan Kuan Choon's weak heart would not be able to take the news, said his daughter-in-law in a report published in The New Paper last October.
Mr Chan was diagnosed with the cancer in 2013. He was described by family members as a cheerful man who led a simple life.
It was routine for the retired ship repairman to ride his motorised bicycle every Saturday to Chinatown for tea with his friends.
Yesterday, Mr Chan's family members were at the coroner's inquiry.
His daughter-in-law had asked investigating officer Francis Tay if loose strings on the side of the trailer could have played a part in the collision.
He replied that the strings, or straps, were securely fastened and did not cause the accident.
Mr Chan Kuan Choon's electric bicycle collided with the prime mover driven by Mr Wong Sin Kay about 25m from a carpark stop line near Block 104, Bukit Purmei Road.