SINGAPORE – A Malaysian-registered bus crashing into a deadly ramp near the Tuas checkpoint in February 2019 traveled more than three times the reported safe speed before crashing into a wall.
On Friday (August 16th), Coroner Marvin Bay noted that the Malaysian driver, Mr Kalayimani Muniandi, 60, was traveling more than 60 kilometers per hour before the crash occurred at about 4.30pm on February 26th.
The "safe speed" for traveling there was 15 to 20 km per hour, Senior Investigating Officer (EB) Sergeant Clarence Lim told the court. He did not, however, cite a speed limit for drivers in the area.
Two passengers on the bus were ejected from the vehicle and women fell about three floors below ground.
One of them, Malaysian producer Mok Fei Chen, 35, died from multiple injuries at the scene while a 21-year-old woman survived. Coroner Bay has revealed that Madam Mock's death is a "tragic traffic accident".
He added: "It seems that the main reason contributing to the event will be Mr Kalaymani driving his bus at such a speed that it would cause (him) some difficulty in securely negotiating the slopes and corners.
"At some point during these maneuvers, the bus destabilized, slipping and moving to the right."
Madame Mock, who worked for the technology company Hewlett-Packard in Singapore, was traveling on the Johohor bus with 15 other people – mostly her colleagues – when the accident happened. Her husband Tai Zhe Shun, 38, was also on the bus.
Mr Kalajmani had earlier told investigators that the bus brakes were defective.
He also stated that despite the application of the brakes, the vehicle did not slow down and the brake pedal could not be fully engaged.
He was taken to hospital for injuries, including fractures of his right elbow and thigh bone.
Coroner Bay said: "Mr Kalaymani told the inquiry he did not know why the brakes did not work because the brakes seemed to work well before he reached the checkpoint."
The coroner said the bus could not be tested after the accident because its operational components were damaged.
However, he noted that the bus was maintained regularly and was inspected only two days before the tragedy.
"There is no evidence that indicates a possible mechanical failure that could contribute to the event," Coroner Bay said.
Madame Mok is survived by Mr Tai and their two young daughters.
He was in court Friday but declined to comment.
This article was first published in Pages Times. Reproduction permission is required.