Lucky escape for couple after rock smashes through windscreen
What was meant to be a quiet New Year's Eve took a frightening turn for Mr Nicholas Sim, 34, and his pregnant wife, 30.
The couple narrowly missed being struck by a stray piece of rock that had smashed through their car's windscreen while they were driving home on Dec 31 at about 2.30pm.
Mr Sim said he and his wife, who is six months pregnant with their first child, escaped with superficial wounds.
He recounted the harrowing experience over the phone yesterday: "Honestly, we are just grateful we could live another day."
Mr Sim told The New Paper that the couple were heading to their home in Punggol and had just entered the Bukit Timah Expressway from the Pan-Island Expressway when the incident occurred.
As they approached the Rifle Range flyover, there was a sudden "bang" as the rock smashed through the windscreen, the self-employed Mr Sim said.
"We couldn't see what hit us. I initially thought my engine exploded. There was a lot of debris. Glass shards, dust flying around everywhere."
The dust and glass particles stung his eyes and face, so Mr Sim slowed down and pulled over to the road shoulder. He was also unsure if his car was safe to drive.
He added: "We were just very shocked and in disbelief."
It is unclear where the rock had come from, but footage from Mr Sim's dashboard camera, which he sent to citizen journalism website Stomp, showed the rock hurtling towards the car from the flyover above.
The impact dented the car's steering wheel, and Mr Sim speculated that the rock had struck it, changing its trajectory.
He said: "It was fortunate it flew between my wife and me."
After pulling over, Mr Sim called his insurance company, which arranged for them to be towed to a carpark. It was then that he found the rock behind the driver's seat.
Mr Sim said it felt like the rock weighed about half a kilogram.
He added: "If you look at the piece of rock and then you think about what could have happened, it is quite scary."
Singapore Safety Driving Centre training manager Gerard Pereira said drivers should not immediately stop their cars nor continue to drive if the windscreen is cracked. Instead, one should slow down, signal, and then slowly move to the left road shoulder and wait for a recovery vehicle, he said.
Looking back, Mr Sim said: "We just cannot wrap our heads around how this thing can happen. I don't know whether this is preventable. I don't know whether it will happen again.
"It was a very close shave."