75-year-old man dies after allegedly being knocked down by garbage cart, family wants explanation

The New Paper
Jan 10, 2024

A 75-year-old man has died in hospital after an alleged accident with a garbage cart in Boon Lay.

The man’s eldest daughter, Ms Cai Liling, told Shin Min Daily News at his wake on Jan 7 that her father, Mr Cai Tianlai, was on his way home from Boon Lay Shopping Centre when the accident occurred.

She said he was using the zebra crossing outside the mall to get to the bus stop when he was knocked down by the garbage cart on Dec 23.

A passer-by who went to help her father called to inform her about the accident and said the elderly man was left sprawled on the ground, with his phone and money strewn everywhere.

Her brother added that he heard his father’s voice on the phone, saying that “he couldn’t move and needed to see a doctor”.

Mr Cai was taken to hospital, where he had to go for surgery. He had fractured his left hand and hip.  

But on Jan 4, he suddenly had a heart attack and from there, his condition deteriorated quickly. Doctors told the family they had done all they could for him. 

Ms Cai said: “We didn’t want to let him continue suffering, so we had no choice but to bite the bullet and take him off life support. It was to let him go peacefully.”

She lamented that the family would not be able to celebrate his birthday on Feb 8.

She said her father was a cheerful and energetic man, and always looked forward to Chinese New Year every year. 

“When he was in hospital, he kept hoping he would be discharged soon, so he could celebrate Chinese New Year with the family,” she said.

Now, the family is seeking witnesses to the accident to come forward.

They had reported the accident to the town council a few days after it happened, Ms Cai said, and received a call from the cleaning company which owns the garbage cart.

The company told them that the driver returned to the scene of the accident to apologise and check on her father, but she claimed Mr Cai didn’t remember the driver stopping to help.

The family is upset that the driver didn’t report the accident immediately and just wants a proper explanation.

She said: “After so long, we still don’t know the truth about what happened. I hope someone will take responsibility and give us a statement so there can be justice for my father.”

The company told Shin Min that it is investigating the matter and has got the driver involved to make a police report.

The New Paper

Get The New Paper for more stories.