Man charged over Lucky Plaza crash that killed two maids

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
September 2, 2020

A 64-year-old man was charged on Wednesday (Sept 2) over the Lucky Plaza crash that killed two domestic helpers in December last year.

Malaysian Chong Kim Hoe, whose car allegedly ploughed into six Filipino women, is now facing three charges for dangerous driving.

Two of them were killed, three suffered grievous hurt while a sixth woman was hurt in the incident.

The Singapore permanent resident is said to have engaged the accelerator as he was making a U-turn while driving along Nutmeg Road behind the Orchard Road shopping mall at around 5pm on Dec 29 last year.

He allegedly drove onto a nearby footway, through a guard rail and onto a Lucky Plaza service road, colliding into the six women.

Two of them, Ms Abigail Danao Leste, 41, and Ms Arlyn Picar Nucos, 50, died.

Ms Arceli Picar Nucos, 56, as well as Ms Egnal Layugan Limbauan and Ms Laila Flores Laudencia, both 44, suffered grievous hurt. Ms Demet Limbauan Limbauan, 37, was also injured.

Details about the women’s injuries were not revealed in court documents. Ms Arlyn Picar Nucos was Ms Arceli Picar Nucos’ sister.

Manager of a Lucky Plaza travel agency Daniel Mendoza, 34, had earlier told The Straits Times that he was on a pavement near the shopping mall when the accident occurred.

He added: “Everyone was of course shocked and many were screaming ‘help, God, help, God’.”

A video – that appears to be footage of the crash taken from closed-circuit television cameras – had also made the rounds online. 

It shows a car making a U-turn before accelerating across the adjacent lane and into a group of people on a pavement.

Following the crash, more than $360,000 was raised in an online fund-raiser that closed on Jan 6 this year.

The Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE), together with the Domestic Employees Welfare Fund, collected the sum from nearly 3,000 donors in about a week, according to figures on fund-raising website

All proceeds in the fund-raising campaign – which started on Dec 30 last year – were to go directly towards helping the four injured maids and the dependants of the two dead women.

Ms Arlyn Picar Nucos (right) and Ms Abigail Danao Leste (middle) died in the accident. Ms Arceli Picar Nucos was injured. PHOTO: ARCELY NUCOS/FACEBOOK

In a Facebook post in January this year, CDE chairman Yeo Guat Kwang thanked members of the public for their generosity, adding: “CDE, the employers, the victims and their families have been overwhelmed by your strong and gracious support... Your support has given us the flexibility we need to convey urgent financial support to the dependants of the two deceased and the two still-hospitalised workers.”

Chong’s bail was set at $15,000 on Wednesday and his pre-trial conference will be held on Sept 25. For each charge, an offender convicted of causing a death by dangerous driving can be jailed for up to eight years.

The Straits Times

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