Teen's death believed to be caused by faulty bicycle brakes He five storeys from carpark falls
He had just bought the bicycle from a second-hand seller.
But when student Sean Lim En Wei took it for a spin at a carpark near his Woodlands home last June, it could have cost the 17-year-old his life.
Its brakes were probably faulty, State Coroner Imran Abdul Hamid said at yesterday's coroner's inquiry into the teen's death.
The Jurong Junior College student had left home at 8pm after dinner with his family on June 9.
Together with a friend, he cycled to a multi-storey carpark at Block 625A, Senja Road on his red bicycle.
Sean's friend, who was not named in the inquiry, checked Sean's bicycle and was concerned about the state of the brakes. But Sean cycled away from his friend, leaving him behind.
As he cycled down the ramp, from level 5B to 5A, he picked up speed.
He was cycling at a minimum of 10kmh - his actual speed could not be determined - according to a report by an accident reconstructionist.
The coroner's court heard that Sean could have tried to brake, but failed to do so due to a "possible brake problem".
Instead, he could have used a parking lot kerb at lot 547 to stop himself.
The teen, whose seat was 89cm high, hit the kerb - about half a metre away from a green 99cm-tall safety fence surrounding the carpark.
Sean and his bicycle were both launched over the railing and plunged five storeys.
Chipped paint and tyre marks were found on the top of the railing.
His friend heard "a sound of a vehicle riding over something metallic".
He hurried down the carpark and saw Sean lying at the ground floor, next to the carpark exit.
The police were called at around 9.30pm.
He was taken unconscious to National University Hospital, where he died.
Mr Imran said Sean had died from multiple injuries, and that he could have lost control of his bicycle due to brake-related issues.
He told Sean's family that the teen's death was deemed to be an accident, and that there was no evidence of suicide or foul play.
Sean's parents, siblings and about four other relatives sat in silence throughout the proceedings.
They declined to be interviewed.