Ruptured tumour caused cabby to black out, leading to fatal crash
A cabby, who was unaware he had a tumour in his liver, was driving his vehicle along Queensway on March 22 when the tumour suddenly ruptured, causing him to black out.
Mr How Yuen Fah's taxi continued travelling towards Jalan Bukit Merah before hitting at least three pedestrians who were crossing the road at a traffic light, which was then showing the green man signal.
One of them, Madam Tng Yew Huay, 66, was taken to the National University Hospital (NUH) where she died of a head injury. The other pedestrians survived.
Following an inquiry on Wednesday, State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam found her death to be "an unfortunate traffic misadventure".
She said Mr How, 72, was also taken to NUH and a scan showed the ruptured tumour. He went through surgery and further medical investigations revealed he had hepatocellular carcinoma, a cancer of the liver.
The state coroner added: "The doctor who treated him clarified that the tumour rupture caused severe bleeding into the involved party's abdomen and a loss of blood flow to his brain.
"The doctor also clarified that this caused the transient period of loss of consciousness. Based on the evidence uncovered, there is no basis to suspect foul play."
Mr How had started driving his taxi around 6.30pm that day. He did not feel tired or sick at the time and was fully rested before he began his shift.
He later picked up three passengers at a Bishan Road taxi stand and was driving past Lornie Road when he felt a sharp pain in the right side of his abdomen but it did not last long.
While travelling along Commonwealth Avenue West towards Queensway, he felt the pain again.
He also felt pain in his neck, started breaking out in a cold sweat and his vision became blurred. He then applied medicated oil to his forehead and nose.
He was driving along Queensway before the junction of Jalan Bukit Merah when he came to a stop as the traffic lights had turned red.
State Coroner Kamala said the cabby recalled signalling a turn to the right before he became unconscious.
She added: "When he regained consciousness, he heard the front seat passenger... shouting at him."
The court heard that Mr How felt pain in the right side of his stomach.
He subsequently realised that his taxi's windscreen was cracked, and that his vehicle was already at the junction of Alexandra Road.
He was unaware that the collision had occurred.
He and Madam Tng were taken to NUH where she died about two hours later.