Tragedy on Changi Coast Road: Impact sent driver 'into the air'

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He had stopped his container truck by the road after it had broken down.

As Mr Zailee Othman, a 45-year-old Malaysian, waited for repairs to be done, he sat by the roadside and started to eat a packet of fried rice.

Suddenly, a seemingly out-of-control tipper truck crashed into him.

The accident happened on Changi Coast Road in the direction of Nicoll Drive at 5.30pm last Friday.

Before the truck hit Mr Zailee, it had smashed into a parked silver sedan from Mr Zailee’s company.

Two mechanics had been sent to repair the container truck. Both men were unhurt as they were not in the car when the accident happened.

They heard the tipper truck coming from behind the container truck and instinctively dodged it, reported Lianhe Wanbao.

They also shouted out to Mr Zailee, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Said Mr Zailee’s sister-in-law: “It was just a few seconds, Zailee’s colleagues were able to dodge it, but he couldn’t do it.”

The impact was so strong that the back half of the sedan was crushed into the body of the car.

One of the mechanics told Shin Min Daily News that the tipper truck sent Mr Zailee “into the air”.

The tipper truck ended up in a nearby ditch, pinning Mr Zailee underneath.

The 36-year-old driver of the tipper truck was taken to Changi General Hospital conscious.

A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said officers used a hydraulic cutter to extricate the body.

Mr Zailee was on his final delivery assignment for the day, and he could have gone home after that, said his sister-in-law.

She said his wife was devastated and fainted several times after she heard the news.

At the mortuary yesterday, she told reporters that Mr Zailee’s wife was still in Malaysia – as she does not have a passport – even though she wants to come to Singapore to find out what happened.

The body was taken back to their Malaysia home yesterday.

BREADWINNER

The couple has four sons, aged four to 14, and Mr Zailee was the breadwinner of the family.

His colleagues described him as a friendly and hardworking man who never had problems with his work.

A police spokesman told The New Paper on Sunday that no arrest has been made so far. Investigations are ongoing.

– Additional reporting by Ng Jun Sen


This article was first published on March 6, 2016.
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Sunday, March 6, 2016 – 14:00
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