Driver dies after lorry crashes into shophouse pillar
A lorry driver, 68, died after losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a shophouse pillar at 31 Jalan Besar, opposite Sim Lim Tower, yesterday at about 11.10am.
He was unconscious when taken to hospital by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
An employee at the nearby Haising Hotel said she heard a deafening bang as she was buying coffee on her way back to work.
Giving her name only as Ms Eva, the 46-year-old housekeeper said she turned around to see the lorry with its windscreen completely shattered and the driver slumped in his seat, just 3m away from her.
When she recovered from the initial shock, she and several passers-by and shopkeepers rushed forward to help the driver.
She said he was barely conscious, with his eyes nearly closed.
The passers-by forced the door open and tried to pull him out, but his legs were trapped under the steering wheel as the front of the lorry was badly damaged.
Two men took turns to give the driver cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
"I kept trying to talk to him, asking, 'Uncle, uncle, are you okay? Can you hear me?'," Ms Eva said, adding that he did not respond.
The SCDF arrived and extricated the trapped driver with rescue equipment before taking him to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Administrative staff Sakthivel Durairajan, 31, was working in the back of a mobile phone shop next to the crash site when he heard the sound of glass shattering.
He said he thought the fridge outside the shop had toppled.
He said the driver appeared not to be breathing or moving.
He added that the shopfront area near his shop, where the lorry had crashed, is usually crowded with patrons of a Muslim restaurant, but no one was there yesterday as it is closed on Mondays.
The police are investigating. - THE STRAITS TIMES