Woman killed, two kids injured when car slams into tree
Family of four in car that crashes into tree at Lentor Avenue
The little boy was injured and crying aloud.
"Mummy... I want my mummy" he cried, as he was pulled from the car wreckage.
His mother, Ms Sim Yee Ling, 33, had died. His brother, like him, was injured.
His father, Mr Chen Jin Wen, 42, the driver, appeared to be relatively uninjured.
The crash happened at Lentor Avenue at 1am yesterday.
The car had been heading in the direction of Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 when it mounted the kerb and slammed into a tree.
The New Paper understands that the couple's three-year-old son was sitting in the front passenger seat without a child seat or booster seat. He suffered head injuries.
HORRIFYING:(Above) Two boys, aged three and six, were hurt. PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO
Their six-year-old son, who was seated beside Ms Sim in the rear of the car, suffered injuries to his spine.
Paramedics from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) who arrived shortly after pronounced Ms Sim dead upon their arrival.
The police said the two boys were taken conscious to KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
According to Chinese news daily Lianhe Wanbao, the three-year-old boy was warded in the intensive care unit (ICU).
The SCDF said the driver of the car was taken conscious to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for drowsiness.
The accident, which shocked residents in the area, shattered the silence.
A domestic helper, who lives at Countryside Road, which is about 100m from the accident site, told TNP she was taking a shower when she was startled by a loud bang.
She did not think much of it and continued showering.
Afterwards, she tried to go to sleep, but could not as there were sirens everywhere.
She also heard a small boy's voice crying out in pain.
The Filipino maid, who declined to be named, told TNP when we visited the accident site yesterday afternoon: "I can still imagine the accident and still hear it.
"I pity the child so much. He kept on crying and crying."
DEAD: Ms Sim Yee Ling (above) was in the back seat with her six-year-old son at the time of the accident. The boy suffered spinal injuries. PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO
Another resident, Mr Ian Seng, 19, said he could hear people shouting from his bedroom.
"Some people were shouting at someone who I think was the driver," he said.
Police said that Mr Chen was subsequently arrested for causing death by rash act.
Lawyer at Hilborne Law, Mr Rajan Supramaniam,said a rash act is an offence in which a person grievously endangers the life of another.
He said: "When we say rash act, it is not just a traffic offence, it is under the penal code, and it refers to a person causing a grievous act to another."
Mr Supramaniam added that, generally, any driver who causes death in a traffic accident will be arrested for causing death by rash act - accidental or not.
"The accountability is higher, but the charges might be reduced, depending on the circumstances and mitigating factors," he said.
Back seat safer for kids: Expert
Road safety experts say that children who travel in cars should be secured properly for their safety.
Infant and toddlers should be in car seats while older ones can be in booster seats.
Children should travel in the back seat of the car to minimise the risk of injuries.
While airbags in the front can save a person's life, they can endanger young children.
Mr Bernard Tay, president of the Automobile Association of Singapore, told The New Paper: "In the first place, the airbag is not meant for children.
"For the airbag to be activated, there is an explosive action. This airbag could be dangerous and might suffocate the child."
Mr Gerard Pereira, training manager of the Singapore Safety Driving Centre, said car seats should face the rear of the car.
Mr Tay also mentioned that seat belts are an important consideration for the safety of children in cars.
"Children are smaller in size and a booster seat should be used together with the seat belt," he said.
This is due to the fact that car seat belts are made for adults, not for children.
But some parents do not use car seats or booster seats because they feel they are troublesome.
"In Singapore, we only travel short distances so people might think that a car seat is not necessary," said Mr Tay.
Mr Pereira said properly securing a child in a car is not just for their safety.
"When the driver knows that the child is properly secured, he can concentrate on driving too," he said.
By law, passengers under 1.35m in height have to be secured with an appropriate child restraint or use a booster seat or an adjustable seat belt.