Man who died after crashing car into bus had taken drugs: Coroner
The driver who died after crashing his rental car into the side of a public bus in Yishun in January had traces of three different drugs in his body, along with painkillers and sedatives.
Ecstasy, methamphetamine and amphetamine were found during the autopsy in Mr Alvin Wong Mun Loong, who was 31 years old at the time.
The combination of drugs could have caused cognitive impairment and affected his ability to drive safely, the coroner’s inquiry into Mr Wong’s death revealed on Monday.
The police found drug apparatus in the car Mr Wong was driving in the accident.
He was a drug addict known to the authorities and had previously been charged for drug offences, said police investigation officer Adrian Lim during the inquiry.
At the time of the accident, Mr Wong had also stopped reporting for urine tests despite being on drug supervision for 16 months from March 2022.
Inspector Lim added that Mr Wong did not have a valid driver’s licence.
Investigations revealed that Mr Wong had misused a stranger’s identity to rent a vehicle from car-sharing firm GetGo. No further details were provided in court about how he obtained this information.
Inspector Lim said there were no tire brake marks at the scene to indicate that Mr Wong was slowing down at the junction, but added that the police was unable to determine if he was speeding.
Police do not suspect foul play. Coroner Christopher Goh ruled the incident as a traffic misadventure.
The fatal accident happened on Jan 13 at around 10.50pm, at the junction of Yishun Avenue 2 and Yishun Central.
Mr Wong was driving a GetGo car along Yishun Central towards Yishun Avenue 3. At the junction, he ran a red light and collided into an SBS Transit bus service 117 travelling along Yishun Avenue 2 in the direction of Canberra Link. Seven passengers in the double-decker bus were injured as a result.
CCTV footage played in court showed the black SsangYong Tivoli rental car crashing head first into the right side of bus service 117. The impact crushed the front of the car and jolted the double-decker bus.
The bus driver told police during investigations that some passengers fell from their bus seats and sustained bruises on their limbs.
Six passengers were conveyed to hospital and discharged on the same day. According to The Straits Times’ previous report on the accident, another passenger was injured but not taken to hospital.
Mr Wong was trapped in the driver’s seat and had to be rescued by Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers using hydraulic rescue equipment. He was unconscious when taken to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries at 11.45pm.
Police informed Mr Wong’s wife about his demise the next day. She said they had no longer been living together since December 2022, and that he was on the run from the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).
Inspector Lim said Mr Wong had been sentenced to the Drug Rehabilitation Centre for 12 months and released on March 16, 2022.
He was then placed on drug supervision for 16 months, but had stopped reporting for urine tests in November 2022.
The last time Mr Wong’s wife heard from him was on Jan 9, 2023, four days before the accident. He had sent a message to her on Instagram apologising for his shortcomings, said Inspector Lim.
His wife said he did not have any suicidal thoughts or medical condition besides asthma.
She told police that her husband had just started learning driving in August 2022, but had not obtained a valid driving licence yet.