Freak crash kills S’porean
Despite her calm demeanour, she had disbelief written all over her face.
Madam Lim Foong Chee was still making sense of the news that her 24-yearold son had died in a freak accident in Thailand yesterday morning.
The Mitsubishi Pajero sports utility vehicle that Mr Jonathan Lim Bowen was in crashed into a wild elephant that was crossing the road at about 5am.
Five other people died and two were injured in the three-vehicle accident. The elephant later died from its injuries.
Thai newspaper Bangkok Post reported that a white Pajero hit one of three elephants crossing a road in Rayong province, about 220km from Bangkok, on the eastern coast of Thailand.
The crash killed all four occupants. The driver and the front seat passenger died on the spot. Mr Lim and the other occupant died of their injuries in hospital.
Soon after the first crash, a six-wheel truck approached the accident site and tried to avoid it.
Truck driver Singhyutthakarn Virophrom, said he saw two elephants standing in the middle of the road looking agitated. About 100m away, a bleeding elephant was lying on the ground.
He tried to avoid the crash site but a bronze Toyota pickup rammed into the back of his truck.
Mr Singhyutthakarn escaped unhurt, but the pickup driver died on the spot.
Passengers in the pickup — a man and two women, were injured. One of the women died in hospital.
The 15-year-old female elephant tried to walk back into the forest, but fell.
It suffered a broken leg and was bleeding from its left ear.
A team of veterinarians shot the elephant with an anaesthetic dart and took it to an animal clinic for treatment.
But it died of its injuries in the afternoon, the vets were reported as saying.
A forestry officer, Mr Pitak Yingyong, was reported as saying that the three elephants had left the Khao Anglunai Wildlife Preserve Area many days ago and rangers were looking for them.
He added that the elephants were likely searching for food at nearby palm and pineapple plantations.
Mr Niphon Chotibarn, director of Thailand’s Department of National Park, expressed his condolences to the family members of the deceased.
Speaking to The New Paper last night, Madam Lim said she received a call from Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
As she had just returned from work, she did not have much details about the accident.
She said: “He goes to Thailand very often as he has many Thai friends. He would go there many times in a year.”
An MFA spokesman said it was aware of the case and the Embassy in Bangkok is rendering assistance to the family.
Relatives were seen arriving at the Lim’s home in Serangoon, some tearyeyed.
An acquaintance of Mr Lim said he knew Mr Lim through their interest in Tamiya toy cars.
Mr S. Y. Tan, 37, who is self-employed, said: “He sells a lot of Tamiya parts. He collects, races and sells the toy car parts to other fellow enthusiasts.”
When he first heard of the news, he thought it was a hoax.
Mr Tan said: “We were all hoping and praying that it wasn’t him. It is a pity that he died so young.”
We were all hoping and praying that it wasn’t him. It is a pity that he died so young.
- Mr S. Y. Tan, who knew the victim through a mutual interest in Tamiya toy cars