Food delivery rider was looking forward to becoming a father, says his widow
Having gone through the pain of losing a baby in a miscarriage last October, Ms Janel Tay and her husband, Mr Jason Tan, were over the moon when they found out she was pregnant again.
However, the 24-year-old Mr Tan would not be around for the birth of his child - he died in an accident on Sunday (April 10).
Speaking to The Straits Times on Wednesday at her husband's wake in Woodlands, Ms Tay, also 24, said: "When we went for our first check-up last year, we learnt that our baby did not have a heartbeat and Jason could not accept it.
"So after I became pregnant again, he was really very happy that both our check-ups showed that our baby was going to be fine."
Breaking down in tears, she added: "But now he does not even have the chance to know if the baby is going to be a boy or girl."
Mr Tan was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic in the accident involving a van and two motorcycles in Gambas Avenue.
The 36-year-old male van driver was arrested for careless driving causing death and police investigations are ongoing.
Ms Tay, who is more than three months pregnant, said she felt something was wrong when her husband, who was out delivering food on Sunday afternoon, did not message her for two hours.
He would often update her on what he was doing in between his deliveries.
One of Mr Tan's friends later messaged her saying that Mr Tan may have met an accident after he saw pictures of one being circulated on a Telegram chat.
The friend took Ms Tay to the accident site.
Ms Tay said: "When I walked past the blue tent, I saw his belongings, like his slippers and his helmet, but I still refused to believe it was him because I had not seen him yet."
The couple were classmates in Primary 5, and continued keeping in touch even though they went to different secondary schools.
They had mutual friends who would meet to celebrate one another's birthdays, and the couple became close friends.
They eventually got together in 2016, and since then, rarely spent a day apart, said Ms Tay. She and Mr Tan got married last month.
Recalling her husband fondly, Ms Tay said he was always cheerful and never got angry.
She added: "He really loves his parents. He would call his mother often, offering to buy food for her or to ask where she was. He would tell her he loved her before ending the call. He said the same to his father (during calls)."
Ms Tay said she has been touched by the support from members of public. She said she appreciates the messages and words of encouragement from strangers, as well the donations that have poured in.
Groups of delivery riders have turned up at the funeral wake to pay their respects to Mr Tan.
A fund-raising campaign started by charity platform Ray of Hope on Tuesday has received about $175,000 from about 3,000 donors as at 9.30pm on Wednesday.
Mr Tan's brother, Mr Jeremy Tan, said while they have not decided on what to do with the money, most of it would likely go to Ms Tay and her child, whom his family will look after.
Ms Tay said her husband was hoping for a son, and if so, they would name him Jerron or Jevon.
They had planned to start looking for their own home next year and to go on holidays abroad. Just before the Covid-19 pandemic, they had travelled to Bangkok, the first time either of them took an aeroplane.
Ms Tay said: "We had so many plans. We were hoping to go to Taiwan and so many places... It's hard to accept that he is gone. He was always so careful and would always tell me (before he left for work) that he would come back home safely."