The father of the 20-year-old college student who died after his car was knocked off the Penang Bridge in January told a court that he felt like collapsing after seeing how his son had died through a dashcam video shown by his friends.
Moey Kah Tiang, 64, of Taman Kempas, Butterworth, said he first heard about what happened to his son, Yun Peng, when his friends came to his house a day after the incident.
“The friends came in and asked if Yun Peng was at home. I said no and that he had gone for a birthday party and had not returned home.
“They then told me to be calm, sat me and showed me a video. When I saw it, I became so weak I nearly collapsed,” he told the Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Moey is a prosecution witness in a trial against Vaitheswaran M Kumaradevan, 21, who has been charged with reckless driving and causing the death of Yun Peng at Km4 (Perai-bound) of the Penang Bridge on Jan 20 at 3am.
Vaitheswaran, a hairdresser and a friend of Yun Peng, has pleaded not guilty to the charge under Section 41 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, which carries a maximum 10 years’ jail and a fine of up to RM20,000 if convicted.
A dashcam video from a nearby car showed Vaitheswaran’s Toyota Vios knocking the rear of Yun Peng’s Mazda CX-5, causing it to flip thrice across three lanes of the bridge before plunging into the water.
A 140-person search and recovery team only managed to lift out the white Mazda two days after the incident, on Jan 22, due to choppy seas and unfavourable weather. The car was submerged 15m underwater at Pier 34 of the bridge, leading towards Perai.
Moey, who is a retiree and a father of two, told the court that the morning after the incident, he had seen pictures and videos of an accident involving a white Mazda CX-5 similar to his. Initially, he did not suspect it was his.
He said this was because as early as 7am on Jan 20, he had tried calling his son’s phone. “I read (news) on the phone that there was a major incident involving a SUV. I tried calling Yun Peng, there was a ringing tone, but no answer,” he said.
Moey said the Mazda car was his and Yun Peng had asked his permission to use it the day before, to drive to his friend’s birthday party on the island.
He said he only had positive identification that the Mazda car was his when he inspected the wrecked remains at a workshop. “I saw a P sticker on the car, and I was confident it was my car.”
Another witness, PLUS Ronda highway patrol officer Anuar Abdul Rahman, 37, said the accident had caused 15m of the bridge’s parapet to be destroyed as the Mazda car had pummelled through it.
Defence counsel S Parameswaran then asked Anuar where the Toyota car was which hit the Mazda after the accident. Anuar replied Km3.9, while the damaged parapet was at Km4.
Deputy public prosecutor Yusaini Amer Abdul Karim and Nur Afiqah Zakaria appeared for the prosecution.
Sessions Court judge Ahzah Fariz Ahmad Khairuddin, presiding as magistrate, then set Jan 21 and Feb 20 to hear other witnesses. – FMT