This post was submitted via Readers’ Contribution[divide]
I was appalled upon hearing a SBS transit bus being involved in yet another fatal accident (Clementi, 23rd April 2013), having knocked down and killed the wife of a NUS professor. Never would i have imagined that such atrocity would cut so close to home and happen to one of my dear old friends.
My friend Danny Wong was crossing the road (on green man light by the way) somewhere along Upper Boon Keng Road on 15th April 2013 (Mon) when the driver of a SBS transit bus failed to see him, made a turn, knocked him down and dragged him along for some time before a newspaper vendor alerted and stopped the bus driver. When the civil defense force arrived at the scene, Danny was found trapped under the bus, seriously hurt with multiple injuries. He was then sent to Tan Tock Seng hospital.
I visited him in the afternoon of 28th April and realised how badly injured he was. His lips were quivering when he recounted the episode. He has not been able to sleep since the accident due to the excruciating pain from the injury and even if he managed to, he would be awakened by nightmares of being caught under the bus. His family told me metal rods/plates (or whatever you classify those scary things) had to be permanently implanted into him. the sight of hook-like metal pieces sticking out of his toes left me both pained and furious.
I mean we can all recall how many times we have heard of sbs buses knocking people down and worse, resulting in deaths. these occurrences are so frequent that soon counting them will require more than 10 fingers. Would we be furious? Of course! i mean what on earth is happening? Aren’t these supposed to be public transportation with commuters’ safety as top priority? Since when have they become monster wheels that we should be wary of? What kind of training do SBS transit drivers undergo? Has something gone terribly wrong somewhere and no one is doing something about it?
You would think that SBS transit would have the decency and initiative to contact the family after the accident to follow up on possible compensation but no. It was Danny’s family who contacted SBS in search for an answer.
What does it take for SBS Transit to act and react like decent company, with promptness and responsibility? Danny’s family told me that SBS transit cannot accede to the family’s request for class a ward until they (SBS) can speak to their boss. I was like “”huh?”” Your driver obviously caused this, and now you are denying your victim of better hospital care because you are waiting for your boss’ approval?
To make things worse, Danny needs to be transferred to a rehab centre in Ang Mo Kio since he has in a way outstayed his time in the hospital. Yet he cannot do so because SBS transit has yet to get back to him with ‘approval’ of payment for the expenses he will incur there. It has been close to two weeks since the accident has occurred and SBS’s boss still cannot attend to this matter? What does it take for the boss of SBS to do so? Another death? Maybe then it would be serious enough to garner some attention?
I was shocked that there wasn’t much news about this accident. I mean, two of such cases to have occurred within a span of about a week!
Being a driver, i do not take public transport. But these accidents involving SBS transit buses are leaving me very very worried for my loved ones and friends. I cannot risk having their lives in jeopardy. i cannot imagine anyone who can.
How many more of such accidents does it take for you to wake up your idea and do something about your drivers?
Please help to share my friend’s unfortunate experience so that together, we can heighten public awareness. The last thing i want is for this case to be swept under the carpet as just one-of-those-regular-accidents because no accidents can be regular – not when they could have been avoided had these bus drivers exercised greater caution and alertness on the roads!
TOC has written to SBS Transit to check on whether this incident occurred and they have just replied to us on 6th May 2013,
Ms Tammy Tan, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, SBS Transit writes,
“Our primary focus now is to assist Mr Wong the best we can. We have visited him in hospital and are in touch with his family. We will continue to do our best to assist him and his family. We are also assisting the Police with their investigations.”