Son died for nothing, says dad of crash victim
FOR close to a year, he thought his only son was responsible for the nine-vehicle pile-up along the Pan-Island Expressway that took the younger man's life in June last year.
When The New Paper told him that his son, a motorcyclist who was then 35, was an innocent victim of the crash, he was so shocked that he walked into the kitchen and broke down.
Liow Chwee Hor, 69, said: "I feel extremely sad and hurt knowing that my son died for nothing."
His son, Liow Yong Seng, was the only fatality in the incident. It was caused by a motorist who braked abruptly to show another motorcyclist both his middle fingers.
The driver, Pang Chon Seng, 52, was sentenced earlier this month to four months' jail for reckless driving and disqualified from driving for four years.
The younger Mr Liow could not stop in time when the accident happened and his motorcycle collided with a lorry.
The impact was so great that the motorcycle broke into two and was flung across the expressway. Mr Liow was found dead under the lorry.
Pang left the scene after the crash.
Almost a year after the tragedy, the older Mr Liow and his wife, Soh Ah Hua, have yet to come to terms with their son's death.
Mr Liow said he still sends text messages to his son's mobile-phone number regularly in the hope that his son would be able to "read" them.
"I hope he will be able to read the heartfelt messages," he said in an interview in Mandarin at their three-room flat in Hougang Avenue 5.
As he scrolled through the messages on his phone, Mr Liow tried to fight back his tears.
Recalling the accident, Mr Liow said he learnt about his son's death the day after it happened.
His daughter was afraid that her elderly parents would not be able to deal with the tragedy.
Mr Liow said he burst into tears when he heard the news.
He said: "We painstakingly brought our son up for 35 years but he was gone in just a second."
He also spoke lovingly of his son.
"It was especially painful losing him as he was very filial towards us. He respected us and never once argued with us."
Mr Liow said his son would take him for his weekly eye treatment despite a busy work schedule.
He declined to talk about his son's job but said that he worked shifts.
The younger Mr Liow had been planning to marry his fiancee next year and had registered to buy a flat.
He had asked his parents to move in with him after the flat was ready but, sadly, did not live to see his plans come to fruition.
Mr Liow said: "He was our everything and prepared our future for us. But now all is gone."
He was furious when his son bought a motorcycle as he had heard of the many road accidents involving motorcycles.
He said: "I knew it was very dangerous."
But his son assured him that he would be careful. Apart from some minor accidents, he proved it by riding safely for more than 10 years.
Eventually, Mr Liow grew to accept his son's love for motorcycles.
Tearing, he said: "It has been a year. But I will always remember him until the moment I die."
When his son had been alive, he would hear the sound of the metal gate opening every afternoon when the younger man got home from work.
His son would often sit on the couch in the living room and play video games.
But now, he no longer gets to hear those familiar sounds.
Asked if he would forgive Pang for causing the accident that took his son's life, Mr Liow said it was pointless to hate.
"I can forgive him or hate him, but it will never bring my son back to life."
With a heavy heart, Mr Liow advised young motorcyclists to be careful when on the roads.
"Every parent will feel the same if his child gets into an accident. And it is a kind of pain no parent will want to go through," he said.
THE NEW PAPER