Ex-national runner Elangovan hurt in hit-and-run accident
One moment he was on his road bike, the next, he was tumbling hard onto the road, still holding onto his bicycle's handlebar.
Mr Elangovan Ganesan was riding along Sims Way to meet his cycling buddies in Changi, when he felt a sudden impact on his right side.
It was still dark when the accident occurred yesterday at about 6.15am, said Mr Elangovan, a former national long-distance runner.
"Initially, I didn't know what had hit me. I was still sliding for almost 20m when I saw the rear of a white Honda Integra with a yellow registration plate," he told The New Paper at his Whampoa Drive flat last evening.
"I could see the car slowing down because the brake lights had come on. I thought the driver wanted to stop and help.
"But instead of stopping, the driver just drove off."
The collision forced Mr Elangovan, who had been cycling on the edge of the left-most lane, to the next lane on the right.
Though he suffered lacerations to his right shoulder, elbow, hip and shin, he said he felt "twice lucky" - for escaping serious injuries and for having a witness come to his aid in what he described as a hit-and-run accident.
"I found myself out in the open. I felt giddy and on the verge of passing out," said Mr Elangovan, 39, who is now an athletics coach.
"Luckily, at that time, the traffic was light. If there had been a car directly behind me, I doubt I would have been able to get out of the way."
He made his way to the side of the road and rested below an overhead bridge. After about five minutes, a car stopped near him.
The male driver suggested the injured cyclist call the police.
"I told myself that it was pointless to call the police as I was not able to note the white car's registration number," said Mr Elangovan.
"But the man said he had seen what happened and had chased the car and noted down its registration number. I thought then that there was a chance to catch the driver of the white car."
The witness told him that he had been behind the white car when the accident happened.
The witness tailed the white car for a short distance before losing sight of it as it sped off in the direction of Guillemard Road. He then returned to help Mr Elangovan.
Mr Elangovan, who took part in three consecutive SEA Games from 1997 and won the Singapore Men's title in the Standard Chartered Marathon for three years running from 2004, made a police report.
In the report, he said it was a hit-and-run accident and he gave the white car's registration number.
Attempts to contact the witness were unsuccessful.
The police confirmed the report and said investigations are ongoing.
They also said Mr Elangovan had declined to be taken to the hospital.
Instead, he called his wife, Madam Chan Yen Peng, to pick him up in the family car. She sent him to Tan Tock Seng Hospital at about 11.30am.
Madam Chan, 37, said: "I was still asleep when I got his call. I started to imagine bad things about the accident when my husband said the words 'hit- and-run'."
When she saw her husband at the scene, he was bleeding and his cycling jersey was torn, Madam Chan said.
His Cipollini carbon-fibre road bike, which cost $8,000, was also damaged.
The deformed handlebar was facing to the right.
The rear wheel could not spin as the gears had jammed and the brake levers were facing inwards, said Mr Elangovan.
"I did not want to be sent to the hospital by ambulance because I just couldn't leave my bicycle at the side of the road. I don't know how much the repairs will cost. I'm just glad my injuries were light," he said.
I was still asleep when I got his call. I started to imagine bad things about the accident when my husband said the words 'hit and run'.
- Madam Chan Yen Peng, Mr Elangovan Ganesan's wife, on hearing from her husband after his accident