On December 20, 2016, police charged Lim Chai Heng with causing death by reckless or dangerous driving. Mr. Lim was at fault in a terrible accident on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) on the previous day. The cause or motive behind the accident appears to be Mr. Lim’s mental issues and depression, which caused him to lose control of himself and his vehicle.

A Rash and Violent Act

The trouble started right after ICA customs. After clearing the checkpoint around 8 a.m., Lim Chai Heng made a dramatic U-turn into the flow of oncoming traffic. Mr. Lim drove his silver Mercedes down the centre lane of the AYE, directly against the tide of traffic, forcing panicked drivers to swerve out of his way. A black Mazda managed to avoid Mr. Lim’s car, but smashed into a tour bus instead. One Toyota Vios, directly in the path of the oncoming Mercedes, hit it head-on, flew across two lanes of traffic, crashed into the wall, and flipped. The impact killed the driver, 37-year-old Jackie Liong Kuo Hwa.

Even after the head-on collision, the Mercedes, piloted by Mr. Lim, continued wreaking havoc. It struck the wall, then smashed into a motorcycle and sent both riders flying. After smashing into another car, Mr. Lim was finally forced to a stop. The engine of the Mercedes was flaming, threatening an explosion that would further harm the people nearby. One driver, Lim Wee Teck, grabbed fire extinguishers from some of the buses halted on the AYE and put out the fire.

When procurement officer Rozaidy Mokhtar arrived on the scene, he saw Mr. Lim murmuring to himself. When Mr. Lim’s son spoke to him, the man became furious and shouted. Mr. Lim was later questioned by police and charged with causing death by reckless or dangerous driving.

A Possible Cause

It is still uncertain exactly what caused Mr. Lim to commit the irrational, violent act that brought death to one and serious injury to others. According to his son, Mr. Lim suffers from severe depression, which apparently triggered his recklessness. Singaporeans are calling for a hefty sentence for Mr. Lim, since his actions were akin to manslaughter and terrorism. This rash act was borderline suicidal and placed many innocent lives in danger.

Handling a Mentally Unstable Person

It can be difficult to know how far a loved one’s depression has progressed. If someone in mental distress is refusing to receive counselling from a psychiatrist in Singapore, families may feel helpless, unsure what to do next. However, if a family member suspects that a depressed loved one may pose a danger to himself or to others, it is time to act.

In a crisis situation, call the authorities and contact Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic to obtain some helpful advice about dealing with a mentally unstable individual. Prevent the unstable person from driving a car or handling any sharp or dangerous objects until professional help arrives on the scene. If you are in a car with a person who seems normal, and they later become agitated, try not to unnerve them further. Remain calm, try to soothe the person or distract him from his anger or despair, and call emergency services if you can do so without further upsetting the individual. No matter how slight or severe a loved one’s depression may be, encourage that person to seek help from an experienced psychologist in Singapore.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Straits Times, 20 December, 2016