S'porean man, 49, hospitalised after accident caused by group of 'crazy cyclists' along Upper Thomson Road

"Not a single person from the group stopped to help," his wife shared.

Daniel Seow | April 19, 2023, 02:06 PM

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A 49-year-old male cyclist was hospitalised after a collision with an overtaking cyclist on Apr. 16 morning.

According to footage from the victim's bike camera, the accident took place along Upper Thomson Road, near Springleaf MRT station, at 6:43am.

After the crash, the errant cyclist proceeded to ride off, leaving the victim, Andy Oh, behind.

Oh was subsequently hospitalised at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital with a minor brain bleed, and is under close monitoring.

His wife, Serlina Eng, who was cycling with him at the time, shared what happened in a Facebook post on Apr. 16.

She remarked that the group of cyclists had "let their egos get the better of them" and "ignored the safety of others", causing the crash.

The accident

Eng told Mothership that she and Oh, a lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, are avid cyclists who have been cycling for close to six years.

On the night of the incident, they were cycling together with friends from a cycling group named Team Cycledelic.

Their group of four cyclists was starting their ride along Upper Thomson Road, and had just passed by the traffic junction at Springleaf when they heard another group of cyclists approaching quickly.

According to Eng, they overtook her group in a "totally unsafe" manner.

One particular cyclist overtook Eng's group and filtered left in front of Oh. The overtaking cyclist clipped Oh's wheel, causing him to lose control of his bike.

Oh also shared that he felt something like "a push on his shoulder" before the crash.

After the crash, the video depicts Eng's group scrambling to dismount from their bikes.

Some worked together to help Oh up, while others called the ambulance or helped to divert traffic from behind.

No one else was hurt, although Eng mentioned that Oh narrowly avoided crashing into another rider from their group.

She also pointed out that no one from the group of overtaking riders stopped to help Oh, even though her group of cyclists was screaming and shouting once the crash happened.

However, two cyclists from a different group did stop to help.

After Oh was brought to hospital in an ambulance, one of Eng's friends said that someone from that group came back to the scene to find out what happened.

"So clearly, they knew [there was a crash]", she noted.

Rider apologised but did not offer compensation

Eng was later contacted by a rider who offered his apologies and admitted that he had been careless.

However, he told Eng that he was unaware of the crash till his friend told him.

According to Eng, the rider also explained that he had lost control of his bike due to "mechanical issues".

Eng remains unconvinced, as she noted that "if there were some mechanical issues, one would be slowing down and not overtaking."

The rider also did not offer any compensation to Oh and Eng.

Incident left her "angry and scared"

Eng shared that the incident left her "angry and scared", thinking of what could have happened if the brain bleed was worse.

The doctor told her that in the worst case scenario, Oh could face cognitive and mobility issues in future.

For at least the next two weeks at least, Oh will need his colleagues to cover his classes.

Due to the head trauma and elbow injury sustained from the accident, it is uncertain when he will be able to return to class.

The couple had also booked a cycling trip in Chiang Mai in May, but that will likely be put on hold.

Might have to give up cycling

Eng revealed that the incident had affected their families as well.

"Our family wants to sell all our bikes and ban us from cycling," she said.

It would be a huge blow to the couple, who cycle around three to four times a week, and enjoy it as a social sport with friends on weekends.

Eng feels this is unfair because they were cycling safely and obeying the rules, but suffered due to the actions of errant riders.

"We have to worry about cars and now, [we] have to worry about fellow cyclists too?" she said.

Eng hopes that by sharing about the accident, she can create better awareness on safe cycling.

Rules and guidelines for cycling in groups

The Ministry of Transport has imposed road cycling rules since Jan. 1, 2022, restricting road cyclists to a maximum group size of 10 provided that they are riding two abreast, or five in a single file.

Different groups of cyclists are also recommended to keep a distance of around 30m from each other, due to safety considerations, though this is a non-mandatory guideline.

These were based on recommendations by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel (AMAP) in 2021.

"This would allow for safer interactions between road users, while providing flexibility for cyclists to ride in groups," the AMAP had said.

Errant cyclists may be fined S$150 for first-time offences.

In more serious cases, they could be fined up to S$1,000 and face a jail term of up to three months.

SCDF and Police statements

In response to Mothership's queries, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) confirmed that on Apr. 16, 2023, at about 6:40am, they received a call for assistance along Upper Thomson Road.

Subsequently, SCDF conveyed one person to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

The Police also told Mothership that at about 6:40am on the same day, they were alerted to an accident involving two cyclists along Upper Thomson Road towards Sembawang Road.

A 49-year-old male cyclist was conveyed conscious to the hospital.

Police investigations are ongoing.

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Top image courtesy of screenshot of video / picture courtesy of Serlina Eng on Facebook.