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Closure for couple who lost sons

UNFORGOTTEN: Mr Yap and Madam Ang with their children's favourite toys at their new flat. The driver of the truck which knocked their two boys down was sentenced to two weeks' jail and banned from driving for five years.


    Jan 28, 2014

    Closure for couple who lost sons

    CLOSURE finally arrived for the parents of Nigel and Donavan Yap, nearly a year to the day their two young sons were killed by a cement-mixer truck in Tampines.

    The driver of the truck, 57-year-old Munir Mohd Naim, was sentenced to two weeks' jail yesterday. He was also banned from driving all vehicles for five years upon release from prison.

    Closure was the word used by Mr Francis Yap and his wife, Madam Suliani Ang, when they spoke to reporters about the sentence at their new home in Choa Chu Kang, one day before the first death anniversary of their sons.

    But forgetting is an entirely different thing.

    Even though their textbooks and clothes were given away, shelves in a room of the four-room flat are adorned with their boys' favourite toys, including a trio of Alvin and the Chipmunks figurines.

    "Alvin is supposed to be me, and the other two are the boys... We were known as the Yap brothers," said Mr Yap, 42.

    The Yaps tried going on holiday last March to Taiwan to ease the pain. But by the third day, Madam Ang, 39, begged Mr Yap to take her home. She wanted to go to the columbarium in Mandai where their sons' ashes are kept.

    Singaporeans grieved with the family when Nigel, 13, and Donavan, seven, died instantly when the truck ran into them in Tampines Street 45 on Jan 28 last year.

    The accident also sparked road-safety concerns about heavy vehicles.

    A year on, Mr Yap says he has already forgiven the driver.

    He recounted a nightmare he had some 21 years ago, when he dreamt that he had run over a child with his army vehicle.

    "I got off and was holding a bleeding kid in my arms... I woke up sweating profusely and I can understand how the (cement truck) driver must have felt," he said.

    Today, the couple plan to visit the columbarium, together with their family and church pastor.

    They visit their sons there at least once a month. On some nights, they said the boys appear to them in their dreams, dressed in white.

    "In my dreams, I am crying by myself. Then they appear and I embrace them. They have grown bigger," said Mr Yap.

    Madam Ang added: "They don't say a word, but will smile and hug me. They look joyful and we believe they are in heaven, without care or worry."