3 families of passengers in 2021 Tanjong Pagar crash seeking S$1.7 million from estate of driver

The claims were received by the driver's mother.

Matthias Ang | November 17, 2022, 05:17 PM

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The families of three passengers in the fatal crash which occurred at Tanjong Pagar on Feb. 13, 2021, have filed claims in the high court against the estate of the driver.

According to The Straits Times, the families are seeking to claim about S$1.7 million from the driver's estate.

They are the families of Eugene Yap Zheng Min, Teo Qi Xiang and Gary Wong Hong Chieh, and are represented by Daniel Goh Choon Wah of Characterist LLC.

The driver at the time of the accident was Jonathan Long Junwei.

The claims were filed with the High Court on Nov. 11, 2022, with Long's mother, Chan Ngerng Pheng, reportedly receiving the statements on Nov. 14.

She had also received letters of demand in 2021.

The accident, which killed five men in total, was ruled as a traffic-related misadventure by a coroner's inquiry in August 2021.

The driver, Long, was found to be drink-driving and speeding by the inquiry, among other key findings.

Claims include dependency, funeral expenses, Rolex watch and pet care

The Straits Times further reported that the mother of Yap, who was the front passenger, is seeking about S$855,000 for the loss of his financial contributions to the family.

She is also seeking dependency claims for Yap's younger brother, aged 30, on the grounds that he used to receive S$500 a month from Yap.

According to Yap's mother, if he were still alive, he would have continued to support his brother financially.

The claims also include funeral expenses and a Rolex watch that Yap was wearing at the time of the accident, with a value of S$23,656.

Meanwhile, the family of Wong is seeking a claim of about S$400,000.

This includes a sum of S$24,000 for the care and custody of Wong's dog.

As for Teo, his mother is seeking a claim of about S$435,000.

In addition, the family of the fourth passenger in the car, Elvin Tan Yong Hao, has also sent a letter of demand to the estate of Long, seeking about S$477,000.

However, they have not filed claims in the High Court.

Vehicle insurer rejects liability for any claim

The vehicle insurer, AXA Singapore, has also been informed of the claims, The Straits Times further reported.

However, in a Nov. 4 letter to Long' mother, AXA repudiated liability under the policy for any claims arising out of the accident as the coroner's inquiry had shown that Long was driving under the influence of alcohol.

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

It can potentially then seek to recover the money paid out from the estate of Long.

A spokesperson for the insurer was quoted as saying that they were unable to comment on legal matters, according to The Straits Times.

The spokesperson added, "We assess all claims according to the policy terms and conditions."

AXA is represented by K. Anparasan and Grace Tan of Whitefern LLC.

Top collage left photo via Song Sen Wun/Facebook, right photo by Sulaiman Daud