By Bryna Sim
IT WAS a cool night and many of the residents in Block 205, Petir Road were already under their bedcovers, fast asleep.
Then came a resounding bang, followed by the crackling and crashing of tree branches right outside the block.
Said housewife Rosie Ang, 55: "I flung off my covers and got out of bed to see what happened. It was a scary sight."
Outside her flat, she saw a smouldering mangled mass of metal - the wreck of what just seconds ago was a Mitsubishi Evolution IX sports car.
The car was driven by Mr Calvin Tan, 30, who worked for his father's used-car business.
A police spokesman said Mr Tan's car was on Petir Road heading towards Upper Bukit Timah Road when it skidded and landed at the centre divider of the road.
The impact of the crash was so great that it uprooted a tree.
Pictures of the wreckage were uploaded onto citizen journalism website Stomp Saturday afternoon.
The police received the call about the accident at 11.50pm on Friday.
Mr Tan was taken to the National University Hospital, where he died at 1am.
Although the crash involved only one man, some 100 people gathered at the void deck to watch the flurry of activity as residents rallied together to help Mr Tan.
One of them was repairman K C Teo, 39, who saw smoke coming out of the bonnet of the wreckage and panicked.
"My first thought was to save the people in the car. I was afraid that there might be a fire, so I ran forward to help," Mr Teo said.
He saw some people trying to pull Mr Tan out of the wreckage, and assisted them in carrying him to the pavement.
"The man's eyes were fluttering, and he was having difficulty breathing. He was gasping and couldn't talk," he added.
Schoolboy Anthony Yeo, 11, said: "I saw people trying to rub the man's chest and feet, but he just kept coughing up blood."
After Mr Teo laid Mr Tan on the pavement, he went back to check if there were others in the car.
"I saw a man shining a powerful torch into the car... He declared that there was no one else left," he said.
Meanwhile, others such as Mr L Y Zhou, 44, a delivery man, made sure the car did not catch fire.
"I have a fire extinguisher at home, so I rushed downstairs to put out the flames. I wasn't scared, just afraid the car would suddenly burst into flames," he said.
Residents said the ambulance and police arrived shortly after, and they returned to their homes past midnight.
They raised their concerns about road safety on Petir Road when they spoke to The New Paper on Sunday.
Said Madam B Lim, 60, a taxi driver: "Cars always whiz past here very quickly. Recently, someone's car hit a lamp post along this road."
These sentiments were also echoed on Stomp yesterday.
Said Stomper Kloden: "Residents and taxis shoot out without observing oncoming traffic, and better still, cut two lanes to make a U-turn further upfront."
The drama experienced by the residents at Block 205 on Friday night was in stark contrast to the sombre mood at Mr Tan's wake last night.
It was held at the void deck of the block where the Tans live, which is just a short distance from the crash site.
Mr Tan's mother, Mrs Tan, was calm. She was flanked by her sisters at the wake.
Her eyes were red-rimmed, and she told The New Paper on Sunday that the incident was a huge shock to the family.
"How I feel now is how every other mother who has lost a son would feel.
"I'm sad, devastated, and I want to know who or what caused the accident," she said. The Tans have another son.
Several wreaths from motoring companies were sent to Mr Tan's father.
We contacted one of the wreath givers, Mr Don Tan, 31, who said he was a business "neighbour" of the Tan family. Both their car businesses are on Commonwealth Lane.
Said Mr Don Tan: "I know he's pretty upset about his son's death. Both his children worked for him."
Police investigations are on. The police are appealing for eyewitnesses to call 1800-547 1818.