KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Four accidents in less than three hours snuffed out the lives of 14 people early yesterday.
This comes hardly a week after it was reported that a University of Michigan research had named Malaysia as among the top 20 most dangerous countries in the world for road users, having recorded 30 fatalities per 100,000 individuals.
Even Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar admitted the number of deaths on Malaysian roads was alarming.
“There is an average of 20 deaths daily due to road accidents. It is indeed alarming and we must monitor the situation closely,” said Khalid.
“We will see how we can best improve in our operations, especially during the festive seasons, to try and lower the number of accidents.”
The four accidents that happened between 3.30am and 6am yesterday were:
3.30am — A car, with five men in it, went out of control and crashed into a goldsmith shop at Batu 10, Jalan Kapar, Klang, before the vehicle caught fire. Four of the occupants were killed.
Seremban, Negri Sembilan
4.10am — Poslaju lorry driver Hasmadi Safar and his attendant Shahrim Saad were burnt to death in an accident involving their vehicle and two other vehicles along the North-South Expressway near Seremban (Km251.9).
5.07am — Four university students — Thomas Loh Heng Tet, Koh Suet Mun, Wong Pei Pei and Ling Yok Seet — all aged 20, were killed on the spot after their car slammed into the rear of a bitumen-laden lorry at Km26 of the Ipoh-Kuala Lumpur trunk road near Gua Tempurung.
Jempol, Negri Sembilan
6am — A family of four was killed in an accident involving two cars at Km22 Jalan Bahau-Keratong. The family was travelling from Terengganu to Port Dickson. The dead were Fauzan Abu Bakar, 33, his wife Nurhidayah Ngah, 29, and their daughters Nur Ain Shahiera, six, and Nur Aina Shahmiera, 10 months.
In the Gua Tempurung incident, Kampar OCPD Supt Ng Kong Soon said the driver of the car was overtaking another vehicle when their car collided with an oncoming lorry.
Both vehicles were dragged a short distance before they ended up by the road shoulder. The impact caused the lorry to turn on its side while the car was wrecked.
“All four victims were final year Diploma in Business Administration students from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman,” said Ng.
The lorry driver, from Chenderiang, has been detained for reckless driving.
The driver, who is also the owner of the vehicle, had previously been booked for 28 traffic offences and had 14 unpaid summonses.
“He is also wanted by the Grik district police for not displaying the road tax.”
Ng said the bend, about 500m from the junction turning to Gua Tempurung, was well lit and it was not an accident-prone area.
Meanwhile, Kuala Nerus Umno Youth executive committee member Syed Hafizuddin Syed Omar, 41, was killed while his friend, Kamal Rahaidi Abdul Halim, 41, was badly injured in a road accident on the East Coast Expressway at 12.30pm yesterday.
The Audi SUV driven by Kamal Rahaidi from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu skidded to the left of the road, spun several times and rammed the left embankment at Km240.5. Syed Hafizuddin was thrown out of the vehicle and died on the spot.