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Megan Elise Michael
The Straits Times
June 9, 2023
A Singaporean student on holiday fractured his left cheekbone and suffered memory loss after the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) he was riding crashed into a coconut tree in Ubud, Bali.
Mr Cheng Yu Heng, 23, cannot remember what happened before the accident last Saturday.
His mother flew to Bali on Sunday to help bring him back home, and they returned to Singapore the next day. Once back, they went to Sengkang General Hospital for treatment by a facial trauma expert.
The psychology student told The Straits Times he had flown to Seminyak, Bali with four friends on June 2. He intended to stay there for five days.
On June 3, Mr Cheng went to Ubud with his friends to ride an ATV – a four-wheel motorised vehicle also known as a quad bike.
The group had booked tickets with company Pertiwi Adventure Bali, to ride through the Ubud forested terrain.
Mr Cheng said the ATV he rode on was stiff and hard to control. As he went downhill, he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a coconut tree.
The ATV guide, who was accompanying the group, took Mr Cheng to a nearby clinic, where the doctor recommended sending him to RSD Mangusada hospital in Badung.
There, he was found to have suffered a hairline fracture in his left cheekbone and was prescribed painkillers and antibiotics.
When asked how he felt during his fall, Mr Cheng told ST: “I can’t even remember being in Bali.”
Ms Yeo Zhi Min, 23, one of Mr Cheng’s friends, recalled the accident.
“At first I wasn’t surprised because it’s his third crash”, she said, explaining that Mr Cheng and his friends crashed a few times into obstacles before the accident.
However, after the ATV guide helped Mr Cheng get up, the severity of the facial injuries was obvious.
“We were like, oh my God, this is serious,” she said.
Ms Yeo added that Mr Cheng was conscious but disoriented after his crash.
She said the adventure tour company coordinated and paid for the transportation and medical treatment of her friend in Ubud.
Mr Cheng’s girlfriend said she received a text about the accident from one of his friends at around 3pm on the day of the accident, while watching a film in the cinema with her sister.
“When I first got the text, I felt really stressed,” said Ms Faith Zheng. “I had to bring my sister out of the cinema and try not to panic.”
The 21-year-old recounted how Mr Cheng’s friends said he had repeatedly asked them after the accident whether he was in trouble, how he got there, and what had happened.
When she spoke to him over the phone, she said he was unable to register what was going on, but could recognise the faces of his friends and family members.
“Currently, it’s all floating memories to him. He can’t remember the exact order of the events from his holiday,” said Ms Zheng, adding that her boyfriend could only recall the past few months in bits and pieces.
Mr Cheng told ST the experience was horrifying, adding: “I am glad I’m still alive.”