Wife of NUS prof dies after being hit by bus

The wife of a prominent National University of Singapore (NUS) associate professor died yesterday morning after she was hit by an SBS double-decker bus at a cross-junction along Clementi Avenue 3.

Madam Zhang Huirui, 42, was pinned under the bus and dragged for 5m. The accident, which took place at around 7.30am, left a trail of blood along the road, right outside a McDonald's outlet next to Clementi bus interchange.

An eyewitness told The Straits Times that the woman had just started to cross the road at the pedestrian crossing when the bus hit her. Mr Tan Ong Ah, 73, said the lights were in Madam Zhang's favour at the time.

"Her lower limbs went under the bus first before her body was dragged along," said Mr Tan, who was crossing the road in the opposite direction.

The victim's husband, Professor Gong Jiangbin, was inconsolable when he reached the site, collapsing in tears next to the body.

Prof Gong, who teaches at the NUS Faculty of Science, has won several teaching awards there. Paramedics had to escort the grieving professor off the road for his safety.

The bus driver, a 47-year-old Singaporean, was held by the police.

The distraught driver would speak only with his wife, who arrived at the scene later.

She was quoted by Lianhe Wanbao as saying that her husband had been recalled on his day off.

She claimed that he was asked to ply route 78, which was not his usual route, although this was later disputed by SBS Transit.

The driver has been suspended until investigations are completed.

A spokesman for SBS apologised for the accident, and said it would be rendering assistance to Madam Zhang's family. Residents in the area said the junction where the accident occurred is usually busy, with many buses turning from multiple directions.

No one was home when The Straits Times visited Prof Gong's condominium apartment last night, although a neighbour described the Gongs, who have a daughter studying in Nanhua Primary, as a "tight-knit family".

"He dotes on his daughter quite a lot; I've seen him buy Mc- Donald's for her a few times," said the neighbour who wanted to be known only as Mr Ho, referring to the outlet near the scene.

mzlim@sph.com.sg


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