Woman linked to fatal Tanjong Pagar crash drove BMW at 109kmh, faces dangerous driving charge

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
March 16, 2023

A woman linked to the fiery car crash that killed five men in Tanjong Pagar on Feb 13, 2021, faces a dangerous driving charge.

Phoo Yi Lin, 26, had driven the white BMW M4 before alighting from the vehicle.

Mr Jonathan Long Junwei, 29, the owner of the car, then took the wheel.

He had clocked speeds of up to 182kmh shortly before the car ploughed into the pillar of a shophouse and burst into flames at around 5.40am that day.

Mr Long and his four passengers – Mr Wilson Teo Qi Xiang, 26; Mr Elvin Tan Yong Hao, 28; Mr Eugene Yap Zheng Min, 29; and Mr Gary Wong Hong Chieh, 29 – were killed in the crash.

According to court documents, Phoo was allegedly driving the car in Tanjong Pagar Road at a speed of 109kmh at around 5.35am that day. The speed limit was 50kmh.

On Thursday, the Malaysian woman applied to leave Singapore but the court rejected her request.

She was charged in early March and is expected to plead guilty on April 3.

During the coroner’s inquiry into the men’s deaths, Traffic Police investigator Muhammad Firdaus Suleiman said that shortly before the tragedy, Mr Long and his friends were at a Chinese New Year gathering in Ang Mo Kio where they had alcoholic drinks.

They then left for Hong Jja Jang restaurant in Tanjong Pagar Road, where they continued drinking.

The eatery was run by Mr Park Se Jin, whose age was not mentioned in court.

Senior Staff Sergeant Firdaus said witnesses said Mr Long then showed his new BMW to his friends.

The group took turns at the wheel, each driving once around the Tanjong Pagar area.

Mr Yap, who was later found to have 119mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood – the legal limit is 80mg per 100ml – was the first to drive. He drove it from the restaurant towards Keppel, and made a U-turn in Enggor Street.

After that, he drove along Tanjong Pagar Road towards Maxwell Road before stopping near the eatery.

Mr Yap had driven the car at speeds of between 77kmh and 88kmh.

Mr Park then drove at speeds of up to 59kmh while following the same path.

Phoo allegedly took over after that and also took the same path.

Mr Long was the fourth driver, and four of his friends – Mr Teo, Mr Tan, Mr Yap and Mr Wong – joined him in the vehicle, which had designated seats for only the driver and three passengers.

Mr Long was speeding in Tanjong Pagar Road when the car skidded and mounted a kerb. The car’s airbags did not deploy in the accident, which killed all five men.

Mr Long’s fiancee, former air stewardess Raybe Oh Siew Huey, then 26, tried to help them but was badly burned.

She spent four months in Singapore General Hospital and needed multiple reconstructive surgical operations.

Senior Staff Sgt Firdaus had earlier testified that Mr Long, Mr Yap and Mr Tan died of severe burns.

Mr Teo died of severe burns and a spinal injury, while Mr Wong died of severe burns and pelvic injuries.

The Straits Times

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.