Families of 3 Passengers Who Died in CNY Tanjong Pagar Crash Seeking to Claim $1.7 Million from Driver’s Estate

The families of three men who were killed in the Tanjong Pagar car crash in 2021 are seeking to claim about $1.7 million from Mr Jonathan Long Junwei’s estate.

The claims are filed by the relatives of Mr Eugene Yap Zheng Min, Mr Teo Qi Xiang, and Mr Gary Wong Hong Chieh with the Singapore High Court on 11 November 2022.

The letters were sent to Mr Long’s mother, Madam Chan Ngerng Pheng, 58, in 2021.

Claims were Rejected by the Car Insurer

AXA Singapore was the vehicle insurer and rejected liability for the claims as it showed that Mr Long was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Under the Motor Vehicles (Third-Party Risks and Compensation) Act 1960, AXA is still obliged to pay the claimants following a judgment.

The insurer could seek to recover the sums from the estate of Mr Long.

Claims Sought from all Family Members 

Mr Yap’s mother is seeking about S$855,000 for the loss of financial contributions from her son to their family. Mr Yap was the front passenger, next to Mr Long.

The claims include the monthly sum received from Mr Yap, funeral expenses, and a damaged Rolex watch valued at S$23,656 which Mr Yap wore that day.

Mr Teo’s mother is seeking a sum of S$435,000 while Mr Wong’s next-of-kin is seeking about S$400,000— which includes a lump sum of S$24,000 for the care and custody of his dog.

Mr Tan’s next-of-kin is seeking about S$477,000 but has not filed claims in the High Court.

Recap of the Incident 

The incident took place back on 13 February 2021 on Tanjong Pagar Road. The five victims died in the collision at about 5.40 am that day.

Earlier that night, the group of five gathered at Hong Jjajang restaurant on Tanjong Pagar Road for Chinese New Year celebrations.

Based on the forensic analysis, the BMW M4 Coupe had been travelling at “staggering” speeds averaging 148km/hr to 182km/hr when Mr Long was driving.

It greatly exceeded the speed limit of 50km/hr on Tanjong Pagar Road.

A police investigator also testified that Mr Long’s blood alcohol level was 86 mg per 100ml leading up to the accident, which is above the legal limit of 80mg.

Prior to the fatal collision, the car had been driven three laps around a circuit on Tanjong Pagar Road, with a different driver each time.

According to the evidence cited by the police investigation, Mr Long was extremely compelling and “insisted” on competing to see who could drive faster.

However, there was no indication that Mr Long persuaded or cajoled anyone to get in the car. It appeared that they got into the vehicle of their own volition, and there was clear excitement among them.

When Mr Long’s turn came around, he lost control of the car.

The vehicle drifted, swerved, and knocked into the pillar of a shophouse at 37 Tanjong Pagar Road.

Mr Teo and Mr Wong also died of cervical spine injury and pelvic injuries respectively.

Three of the bodies were identified through fingerprints the day after the accident, while the remaining two were identified through DNA profiling.

The collision severely ruptured the car’s exhaust system and fuel tank, thus causing the petrol to leak and vaporise.

After the car crashed, Ms Raybe Oh Siew Huey, then 26, ran into the fire and attempted to save her friends. She suffered severe burns in the process.

The firefighters arrived at the scene at 5.46 am after receiving calls for assistance but were unable to approach the car due to the intense heat.

The fire was put out at 6.08 am, and the bodies were extracted from the vehicle.

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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily New