Woman arrested after carpark carnage
Woman arrested for drink-driving in carpark, seven other cars damaged
A black multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), allegedly driven by a woman who had no licence and had been drinking, crashed into seven other cars like a pinball early yesterday.
The incident happened at a carpark in front of Block 122, McNair Road, near Serangoon Road.
Residents in the area were jolted by loud banging noises and a car alarm going off.
Madam Catherine Neo, 65, who lives on the 10th storey of Block 122, said her quiet morning was shattered by sudden crashing sounds coming from below her block.
"I heard bang, bang, bang a few times. I thought someone was throwing things from the block," the retiree told The New Paper in Mandarin.
When she peered out of her window, she was shocked to see several cars damaged in the open-air carpark.
"A black MPV had crashed into some other cars and it became stuck, with a blue Kia lodged in its side," she said.
"Some people got out of the MPV and pushed the Kia with their hands to dislodge it."
Madam Neo took pictures of the incident and said she recognised the group of young people from the MPV as they had been drinking nearby in the early hours of yesterday.
"There were about five of them and they had been drinking at the stairs," she said.
"A number of residents rushed down after the accident to see what was happening."
The police said they received a call at 6.29am yesterday informing them of the accident.
A spokesman said: "A 22-year-old woman was arrested in relation to the case. Investigations are ongoing."
TNP understands that she was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.
Residents said the black MPV had crashed pinball-style into seven cars, moving forward and reversing multiple times and leaving mangled parts of the cars all over the carpark.
Madam Neo said an argument then broke out between two groups of people before the police arrived.
"The two groups looked like they were going to fight, then someone came between them and pushed them apart," she said.
Another resident who did not want to be named told TNP that he saw the aftermath of the accident at about 7am. "The cars were badly damaged and the woman who drove the black MPV tried to get the car owners to keep quiet as she did not have a licence," he said.
"She is a resident in the area. I've seen her around. She's often with a group of friends drinking and smoking at the playground at night and they'll be there till morning.
"They would be drinking whisky, not beer," he said, adding that the other residents regarded her as "a naughty trouble-maker".
He added that the driver's parents later came down to the carpark and were seen scolding her, but she showed little reaction or any signs of remorse.
The owner of one of the damaged cars said the women did not apologise to anyone. (See report above)
Another affected driver, a 27-year-old self-employed man, told Shin Min Daily News that the MPV did not belong to the woman.
"I asked the people in the MPV for the owner and a man said it was his mother's car. He later drove it away while the rest stayed behind," he said.
Workers at a nearby coffee shop said the woman was a familiar face and would occasionally buy food from them. They added that she has been living in the estate for about a decade.
Lawyer Amarick Gill said it is an offence to drink alcohol in any public place after 10.30pm, but it is unlikely that the woman will be charged for it.
"Drinking in any public place past 10.30pm is an offence, even void decks and parks," he said.
"Technically, she can be charged for it, but it is unlikely. I have not heard of anyone who has been charged with that offence yet."
"I’ve seen her around. She’s often with a group of friends drinking and smoking at the playground at night and they’ll be there till morning."
— A resident
Driver did not cry or apologise: Witness
The owner of a black Mazda thought his car had escaped the carpark carnage and was about to leave for work when the police asked him for his details.
That was when he checked his car and realised that he was one of the seven victims.
Said the man, who wanted to be known only as Mr Lim: "I was surprised (when approached by the police), then I looked at the front of my car and saw that my number plate was gone."
He cancelled his plans to go to work.
The 47-year-old, who works in a petro-chemical firm, said he went down at about 7am and saw the wreckage in the carpark.
"I saw the damage caused to the other cars and was shocked," he said.
"But from afar, my car looked to be all right, so I continued loading all my things into the boot."
As he was about to drive off, police officers stopped him and asked for his details.
He also saw the police questioning the female driver and found out from the other drivers that she did not have a driving licence.
"She did not cry and didn't apologise to anyone," Mr Lim said.
"She does not have a licence, so I probably can't make an insurance claim to fix the car."
He added that his car suffered the least damage and he did not intend to fix it.
"It was going to be scrapped in a month anyway," he said.
"Thankfully, only the front part of the car was damaged, so it still works fine. I'm just going to fix the licence plate and leave it at that."
An SMRT taxi hit a black sedan before skidding and ramming into 10 parked motorcycles at an open-air carpark at Block 61, Lengkok Bahru.
The cabby said he did not know why his vehicle had lurched forward when he had only stepped "lightly" on the accelerator.
A Lexus SUV hit two cars while trying to park between them.
As the driver tried to drive out of the carpark at Jurong West, he scratched a black BMW, causing its licence plate to fall off.
The man was later arrested for drink-driving.
A lorry crashed through a gantry and knocked down a height barricade before smashing into four cars at Choa Chu Kang Stadium carpark.
The incident was captured by a closed-circuit television camera.
The police advised the parties involved on their legal recourse.