Recently, you might have heard of the Hokkaido car crash that killed a Singaporean woman and her young child.
On 10 January this year, a family of four were driving in their rental car in Hokkaido when their car collided with a large lorry on the road.
Unfortunately, Ms Lin Xiyue, a teacher at Nan Chiau Primary School, and her younger daughter, Aahana, passed away due to the accident.
Ms Lin, who was on maternity leave during the family’s holiday, was 41, while Aahana was almost five months old. The family had intended to return to Singapore to celebrate Chinese New Year after their holiday in Japan.
The holiday was also the last one they took before Ms Lin was supposed to return to work.
The accident, which occurred at Kamifurano, a town in Hokkaido, also left Mr Karthik, Ms Lin’s 44-year-old husband, and Aanya, their three-year-old daughter, with severe injuries.
Ms Lin and Aahana’s bodies were sent back to Singapore yesterday (18 January) morning. Meanwhile, Mr Karthik and Aanya reached Singapore yesterday (18 January) night after being discharged from the hospital in Japan.
And here’s what caused the accident.
What Happened: Low Visibility, Checking of GPS
When reporters from Shin Min Daily News visited the wake today (19 January) morning, Mr Karthik, an engineer, explained that he was using the Global Positioning System (GPS) in Google Maps to navigate the area while driving as he was unfamiliar with the place.
He mentioned that there was only 150 to 200 metres’ worth of visibility from their rental car and that the road was not smooth due to the terrain.
Both sides of the road were also piled up with snow. The road was extremely slippery as well, which led to him driving at an extremely slow pace.
However, that was not enough to prevent the accident from happening.
The collision occurred when the family tried to turn their car from a small road to the main road, and they were caught off-guard as the GPS did not indicate anything related to stopping the vehicle to check for traffic.
Additionally, Mr Karthik, an Indian national based in Singapore, was busy looking at the road signs to navigate his way, which resulted in him not realising that the lorry was approaching the car until it was too late.
He Lost Consciousness, Began Performing CPR After Regaining Consciousness
Mr Karthik then recalled how he lost consciousness after the collision and only regained consciousness around five minutes later after hearing the safety alarm on his smartwatch.
He then realised that his wife and younger daughter had sustained severe injuries and were unconscious, prompting him to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately.
A few passers-by also came up to help the family and called the ambulance for them after seeing what had happened.
Unfortunately, Ms Lin and Aanhana succumbed to their injuries after being sent to the hospital.
The Aftermath: Brother-in-Law Told the Family
After receiving the bad news, Mr Karthik gathered his courage and called his brother-in-law to inform him about what happened. He also asked his brother-in-law to help convey the information to his wife’s family.
Additionally, he and his daughter were hospitalised and were only discharged on Tuesday (17 January).
They proceeded to fly back to Singapore yesterday (18 January).
At the wake, one of Ms Lin’s uncles told Shin Min Daily News yesterday (18 January) that his niece and grandniece’s bodies reached Singapore at around 1 am that day. His niece had been married to Mr Karthik for a little over four years.
The aftermath of the incident was handled mainly by Ms Lin’s younger brother and sister. Her younger brother got on a flight to help handle the situation while her sister stayed with their parents in Singapore.
Her uncle added that the three siblings were extremely tight-knit and that the family is still grieving over their loss.
Mr Chris Chan, Ms Lin’s brother-in-law, echoed similar sentiments and told The Straits Times that Ms Lin’s parents were extremely affected after hearing the news.
Additionally, the entire family had planned to get together during the upcoming Chinese New Year period after being unable to do so for the past two years due to COVID-19 restrictions. Mr Chan then noted that Ms Lin and Aahana’s passing happened at a “sensitive” time.
However, Ms Lin’s parents are coping better as of now.
He added that Ms Lin was the oldest child at home and would help lead her siblings when they had to help settle family-related issues.
At the elegantly-decorated wake, Ms Lin and her Aahana’s coffins were placed next to each other. The photo used at the wake was a photo of Ms Lin carrying Aahana.
Apart from that, luxurious bungalows and cars made out of paper were also present at the wake.
Ms Lin and her daughters’ wake will continue to be located at the void deck of Block 724 Jurong West Street 72 before the funeral service tomorrow (20 January) afternoon.
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