Taxi kills man lying on Victoria Street
In a bizarre accident early yesterday, a 53-year-old man was run over by a taxi and killed after he lay down in the middle of Victoria Street.
Mr Zainudin Muhammad was seen having a heated argument with an unknown woman before walking to the middle of the five-lane road and lying down, witnesses said.
Shortly after, the taxi, which was heading in the direction of Kallang Road, hit him and dragged his body for about 20m before stopping near the traffic junction at Jalan Sultan.
The accident at 3.15am happened so quickly that witnesses had no time to warn Mr Zainudin before the taxi hit him.
There was a grisly trail of blood from the rear of the taxi to the spot where Mr Zainudin lay down.
The cabby, who wanted to be known only as Mr Goh, told reporters that he could not brake in time when he saw a man lying in the middle of the road.
The 60-year-old said: "(After I hit him) I saw that he was lying there without any sign of life.
"I immediately called the police and for an ambulance with my mobile phone."
When Mr Zainudin's female companion, who looked to be in her 30s, saw the accident, she rushed to his side in tears. But she left the scene before the arrival of the police.
Said Mr Goh: "I believe she must be his friend or relative. She knelt by his body and started crying and shouting.
"It is odd that she didn't stay to help the police in their investigations."
A cleaner from a nearby hotel said the woman had run into the hotel and continued crying for around five minutes before leaving.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, said a police spokesman.
Mr Goh, a cabby of 21 years, was arrested for causing death by a negligent act. He said he was worried about losing his taxi licence as a result of the accident.
Before his arrest, Mr Goh, who had a passenger in the rear of his taxi at the time, told Chinese evening daily Shin Min Daily News that the passenger could testify for him.
"The passenger did not even know that an accident had taken place. He even asked me why I had stopped the taxi suddenly," said Mr Goh.
"He found out that something bad had happened only after he alighted."
A receptionist who wanted to be known only as Miss Liu, 32, said Mr Zainudin and the woman had been arguing outside a row of shops just before the accident.
"The man's voice was especially loud. The loudness alarmed some people in nearby shops," she said.
Miss Liu added that she went back to her work after the couple quietened down 10 minutes later and left.
Another witness, who wanted to be known only as Mr Liang, 36, told Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao that the couple had smelt of alcohol.
Mr Zainudin and the woman had walked to the middle of Victoria Street, where he suddenly lay down on the road angrily.
The woman ignored him and continued crossing the road, said Mr Liang.
"I wasn't sure if he was planning to get up, but in any case, it was too late as the taxi ran over him. It was very shocking," he added.
The police are investigating.
"The passenger did not even know that an accident had taken place. He even asked me why I had stopped the taxi suddenly."
- Cabby, who wanted to be known only as Mr Goh