Girl, 4, dies after car accident at River Valley, parents appealing for witnesses

Her death is devastating for her family and everyone who knew her.

Khine Zin Htet | January 26, 2024, 09:14 PM



It was supposed to be a normal routine for four-year-old Zara Mei Orlic, who hummed a song as she crossed Institution Hill in River Valley to return home from school with her younger sister and their family's helper.

That fateful day, on Jan. 23, 2024, Zara never made it home.

A car ran her over — despite screams from her helper, who was merely two steps behind holding Zara's sister's hand, for the car to stop.

A resident nearby who came out of their house after hearing a loud bang filmed the heartbreaking scene of the helper wailing while holding Zara in her arms.

Gif via Mothership reader

Father rushed down to the scene

Zara's father, Nick Orlic, told Mothership he was just five minutes away when the accident happened and was devastated when he arrived.

Nick described a scene that no parent should ever see.

"I thought she was dead. But then I felt a very faint pulse," Nick said, a quiver in his voice.

He estimated that around ten minutes later, the ambulance arrived, and Zara was rushed to a hospital.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force confirmed that they received the call for help at around 5pm and that the accident happened near the junction of River Valley Road and Institution Hill.

She passed away in the hospital

Zara passed away in the hospital.

The doctors told him, "I'm sorry. This was not survivable."

Nick said he was told his daughter suffered extensive head injuries but pleaded for the doctors to keep trying — at least wait for his wife, who was rushing to the hospital.

Soon after his wife arrived, Zara succumbed to her injuries.

Well-loved by the community

Zara was well-loved by the community at River Valley.

One resident told Mothership that her death sent shockwaves through the community, and everyone was deeply affected by her death.

"Zara was our daughter’s best friend. They did everything together - going to the same class at school, going to the same ballet classes on weekends and having play dates together," the resident said.

"Zara has brought a lot of love and joy to our family," he added.

"Her passing has left a void in our hearts, and we will miss her dearly."

"She was everyone's daughter and a ray of positivity and hope."

Many residents placed flowers and soft toys around a tree beside the accident in memory of her.

Photo courtesy of Mothership reader

"She was a wonderful little girl," said Nick, describing his daughter while trying to cope with grief.

"She just turned four years old and she was just starting to blossom.

She was starting to love dancing, whether it was ballet or any type of dancing.

She would always dance whenever there was any music.

And ... she just skied for the first time and rode a horse for the first time.

She was a vibrant and wonderful little girl."

Many accidents along same stretch of road: Resident

A resident who lives at Oxley Road, another road accessible through River Valley Road, told Mothership that this was not the first time traffic accidents had happened.

He claimed that motorists driving along the bend on the River Valley road into the smaller side roads often tend to speed and not slow down.

Photo from Google Maps

He said he tried many times to request speed humps or strips to regulate motorists' speeds since 2019.

The resident also explained that many family and educational centres are around the area.

"We really do not need more lives to be claimed," he wrote.

Appealing for witnesses

The police were called in a little later, Nick said.

He said the police told him that investigations into the driver are ongoing.

Photo courtesy of Mothership reader

He and his family are currently appealing for eyewitnesses who can help provide more information to the police.

Top photo courtesy of Mothership reader