Boy, 8, dies after car accident near SGH
Boy killed while crossing road with grandfather
Little Galen Ong Zi Jie took to the water at a young age and could swim by the time he was four.
The eight-year-old often went swimming at the Delta Swimming Complex, accompanied by his grandfather.
It was while returning home from one of these sessions on Wednesday that tragedy struck - the duo were crossing the road near the junction of Eu Tong Sen Street and Hospital Drive when Galen was hit by a car.
He died from his injuries.
Mr Filton Ong told The New Paper that his son was being taken home from swim class by his wife's father, Mr Tan Tiong Him, 66.
They had been just a short distance from home at Everton Park.
As they were trying to cross the road at about 6.30pm, Galen was hit by a car and flung some 3m, Mr Ong said.
Witnesses said Mr Tan seemed stunned when he could not find his grandson, reported Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao.
When he saw the boy lying on the road, Mr Tan knelt by him and kept calling out to him until help arrived to take them to the nearby Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
A passer-by also lent Mr Tan, a retiree, a mobile phone so he could call his wife, Mr Ong said.
"When my mother-in-law called me, I was at a company function. But when you have children this age and someone says they've been in an accident, you always think it wouldn't be that serious," said Mr Ong, who works in consulting.
At the hospital, Mr Ong was told that his son had bleeding in the middle part of his brain, which controls most bodily functions, and was being kept alive by medication and machines.
By about 11pm, the Ongs made the difficult decision to stop treatment and their son slipped away.
"It was very devastating, especially for my father-in-law because my boy was very close to him," said Mr Ong. "He took Galen everywhere, even to school at Cantonment Primary School, which is just beneath our flat."
He added that Mr Tan was mere inches away from Galen, but said with a sigh, "this is fate".
Mr Tan escaped with light scratches.
A police spokesman confirmed the accident on Eu Tong Sen Street going in the direction of Hill Street, and said an eight-year-old boy and a 66-year-old man were taken to SGH.
TNP understands that they were trying to cross from the SGH side of Eu Tong Sen Street and the accident happened in the bus lane.
When the car that collided with Galen tried to stop, it was hit from behind by another car.
Police investigations are underway.
At his wake yesterday, Galen's father remembered him as an active boy who loved ice skating, roller blading and was very good on a push scooter.
The oldest among the grandchildren, he was an obedient boy who always looked out for his younger sister, Isabelle, four, and his younger female cousins.
"Even though he was a bit dyslexic, he loved reading The Adventures of Tintin. I would read the parts of all the other characters while he would read the parts of Tintin and Snowy," said Mr Ong.
At Galen's wake at Mount Vernon Parlour yesterday evening, close to 50 family members and friends crowded in the hall waiting for the casket to arrive.
Shortly before 8pm, as the coffin was brought in, several loud sobs could be heard.
When the undertaker asked if Galen's family had brought anything to place in his casket, several sets of clothing, a pair of well-worn grey Crocs and toy cars were passed to the front.
As each family member took turn to say their goodbyes, his grandfather, Mr Tan, could be seen frequently bending towards the casket, mouthing words to his favourite grandson whose life was cut short far too soon.
Even though he was a bit dyslexic, he loved reading The Adventures of Tintin. I would read the parts of all the other characters while he would read the parts of Tintin and Snowy.
- Mr Filton Ong, Galen's father