An inquiry into the deaths of a mother and daughter, who were killed when their Mercedes-Benz plunged into Alexandra Canal in January this year, began on Monday (Jul 4).
On Jan 24, divers extricated Madam Yep Lay Choo, 51, and her daughter, Ms Kimberly Poon Hui Yin, 23, from the fully-submerged car, and the women were pronounced dead at the scene at 9.53pm and 10.05pm, respectively.
Investigating Officer (IO) Jegadeeswaran told the Coroner's Court on Monday that upon exiting the car park of Valley Point Shopping Centre, the Poons' car did not seem to have braked but instead shot straight ahead towards the canal.
CCTV footage of the incident showed the car, driven by Mdm Yep with her daughter in the front passenger seat, covered 14.6 metres - from the exit of the carpark until it plunged into the canal - in just three seconds.
Based on the footage, Mdm Yep did not apply the brakes until the car had crashed into the railing, IO Jegadeeswaran said. The impact dislodged the railing and sent the car plunging into the 3-metre deep canal.
The airbags were activated due to the impact, and although the car's electronic system showed both women had been strapped in, mother and daughter were found floating in the car by divers.
Autopsies concluded both women drowned, and both also suffered rib fractures from the impact of the crash.
IO Jegadeeswaran said the police do not suspect foul play. The accident was caused by human error, he said, suggesting that Mdm Yep could have been distracted in those crucial seconds.
State Coroner Marvin Bay will deliver his findings next Monday.
Mr Robin Poon, who lost his wife and only child in the accident, told reporters after the hearing that he missed his family dearly. "I guess I have to accept it, there's nothing I can do ... I do miss them but life has to move on."