S'porean returning from Genting dies after bus crash
S'pore man in Genting Highlands double-decker bus crash dies of brain injury
She had heard on the news last Wednesday that a Grassland tour bus had met with an accident near Genting Highlands in Malaysia.
Even though her husband had gone to the casino resort and was due back that night, she did not think much of it.
So when a representative from Grassland Express and Tours showed up at her doorstep that night, she was shocked.
He had bad news for her. Her husband, Mr Lim Sia Thian, 62, was on board the bus and had been badly injured.
The retiree, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Lim, 63, said in Mandarin: "Somehow, it didn't occur to me that my husband would be on that bus, and early reports on the accident had said there were no serious injuries.
"So I wasn't worried. But then I found out that he was on the bus and was critically injured."
Mr Lim died on Sunday morning of severe traumatic brain injury at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital (KLGH), Gombak police chief Assistant Commissioner Ali Ahmad told Bernama news agency.
The freelance accountant was returning from a three-day holiday in Genting Highlands on a double-decker Grassland tour bus when it crashed into a road divider and overturned on the Karak highway at around 3.45pm while heading to Kuala Lumpur.
The impact caused the double-decker to skid for about 20m, Malaysian newspaper The Star reported.
The cause of the accident has not been determined.
Out of the 12 tourists on board, Mr Lim and eight others from Singapore were injured.
He was taken to Bentong Hospital before he was transferred to KLGH last Thursday. His body arrived in Singapore yesterday morning, reported Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao.
Speaking to reporters at her husband's wake in Balestier last evening, Mrs Lim said her husband had left for Genting Highlands on Sunday and was due home on Wednesday night.
Grassland arranged for her to go to KL to see her husband in hospital the next day.
She said that Mr Lim was sitting in the first row of seats on the top deck of the bus.
"The accident happened after lunch, and he might have been sleeping. Perhaps that contributed to his serious injuries," she said.
Last Wednesday night, a Grassland spokesman told The Straits Times (ST) that none of the passengers was critically injured.
However, later reports said that at least one passenger besides Mr Lim had been critically injured.
PHOTO: CHINA PRESS
On Saturday, Grassland's operations manager Steven Chew told ST that five passengers had returned to Singapore, and that the cause of the crash was under investigation.
Looking visibly tired, Mrs Lim said: "My husband booked the bus (from Grassland) because they are the best.
"It's unfortunate (that the accident happened), and I'm very sad, but we can't control such things. I can only accept it and offer more prayers for him."
Mr Lim leaves behind a daughter and son, both in their 20s, who are working and studying, respectively.
Mrs Lim said her husband would go to Genting Highlands once in a while to play on the jackpot machines, and would occasionally arrange to meet his friends there.
"The children and I followed him there two or three times in the past, and they would play at the theme park. But in recent times, he went alone whenever he had the time," she said.
Mrs Lim thanked representatives from the Singapore High Commission in Malaysia and Grassland for "assisting her every step of the way".
"It's good to know that when something happens to Singaporeans overseas, there are people out there who will help you," she said.
It's unfortunate, and I'm very sad, but we can't control such things. I can only accept it and offer more prayers for him.
- Mrs Lim, whose husband, Mr Lim Sia Thian, died in the bus crash
Another S'porean still in critical condition
Another Singaporean passenger who was on board the Grassland tour bus remains in critical condition in Kuala Lumpur General Hospital (KLGH).
The Straits Times Online reported yesterday that Mr R. Manokaran, 52, a barber, broke his arm and a wrist bone and punctured his lung.
He is in the hospital's intensive care unit and has yet to regain consciousness.
He needs assistance to breathe, said his niece, Ms V. Chandralekha, 21, who was with him at the hospital.
His family hopes to bring him back to Singapore for treatment, but doctors have advised against doing so for now because both his kidneys have failed.
Ms Chandralekha said he is on dialysis and the medical team is assessing if his condition will be stable enough for the journey to Singapore.
She said: "His left rib bones are mostly damaged and, therefore, he has to be on breathing support throughout the ambulance journey."
Mr Manokaran, his wife and two of their three children were returning from a four-day holiday in Genting Highlands when the accident happened.
They were taken to Bentong Hospital before they were transferred to KLGH.
His wife, Madam Muniandy Barvathi, 48, was flung out of the bus but did not have any major injuries.
Their daughter, Ms M. Priyatharsini, 24, who injured her neck, ankle, collar bone and back, returned to Singapore on Friday. She had surgery on her ankle at the National University Hospital (NUH) on Saturday.
His son, Mr Navindran Manokaran, 19, told The Sunday Times that he had cuts on his hip and injured his arm, but managed to pull his father out of the wreckage.
He returned to Singapore on Saturday and has been warded at NUH for observation.