'I'm definitely going to die,' thought driver before falling tree crushes back of his dad's Mercedes

Ang Qing
The Straits Times
March 4, 2023

As he was driving in Tiong Bahru Road on Friday, Mr Wang saw a big tree to his left tilt before it started crashing down in his path.

“I thought ‘I’m definitely going to die’,” the 22-year-old told Shin Min Daily News.

He floored the accelerator of his father’s black Mercedes-Benz, hoping that the tree would miss the car.

The massive tree fell across the four-lane, two-way road at about 5.30pm, crushing the back half of his car and damaging a sheltered walkway.

Some 11 bus services were disrupted.

Mr Wang, who declined to give his full name, was taken to hospital by the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

Had he been a second slower, the falling tree would have hit the car right where he was sitting, based on footage taken by the car’s dashboard camera seen by Shin Min.

@shinmindailynews 【树倒】中峇鲁路的老树轰然倒下,横跨四条车道,还压中一辆马赛地。 22岁司机见躲之不及,赶紧猛踩油门冲过去,侥幸逃过一劫。#新明日报 #新加坡新闻 #树倒 #幸运 #马赛地 #shinmindailynews #SGnews #fallentree #tiongbahru #mercedes #closeshave ♬ original sound - 新明日报

Mr Wang told the Chinese language newspaper that he felt fine after the accident, but started trembling while in hospital for observation when he recalled his near-death experience, and could not sleep till 4am on Saturday.

He added that he woke up later that day with neck pain and numbness in his legs.

He hopes that the authorities will check other old trees along the road to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Ms Indranee Rajah, an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, said in a Facebook post on Friday night that the tree was cleared 4½ hours after it fell and that the roads had been reopened. The relevant agencies would check the other trees in the area on Saturday as a precaution, she added.

Mr Wang’s father, Mr Wang Wei Ping, told Shin Min that he had bought the second-hand car for $70,000 and had been hoping to sell it to buy a bigger car. He said he was told by the insurance company that it would be difficult to claim for compensation as the incident was regarded as an act of God.

He added that he is considering claiming for compensation from the authorities.

The Housing Board said on Friday that it is investigating the cause of the incident.

The Straits Times

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