BUKIT MERTAJAM: Jalan Lapan, Kampung Machang Bubuk, is only a short street with about a dozen houses.
Yesterday, families living in the whole stretch was in mourning.
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Occupants of three houses along the road were killed in the tragic Genting Highlands road crash.
Coffee shop operator Lim Nyok Chin, 55, has mixed feelings – she had been scheduled to go on the trip but had opted out at the last minute.
She decided she would not go as all the seats in the van had been taken.
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However, it was still painful for her – her mother Wong Ah Moi @ Wong Seh Moi, 83, died in the crash.
“I had planned to go with my mother to meet my daughter and her boyfriend, who went there on their own.
“Initially, my name was on the list but just days before the trip, the organiser told me that there was only one seat left.
“I decided to let my mother go,” said Lim when met at her home,
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She said those who went for the trip were mostly relatives and friends staying in the same area.
“They often travelled together. I still cannot believe I have lost my mum just like that,” she said.
Meanwhile, Pahang police chief Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said it was Ah Moi who was killed in the accident and not Goh Siew Kim, 61, as initially reported.
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Besides Ah Moi, two other family members were also killed.
Ah Moi’s brother Wong You Hook, 62, who lives down the road, lost his wife Ang Meng Hong, 62, and sister-in-law Lee Moy, 67.
“My wife called me about an hour before the tragedy, saying they were on their way back.
“Then, a neighbour rushed over to tell me about the accident. I was devastated,” he said.
You Hook said the group would travel to Genting Highlands twice yearly, adding that the fatal trip was supposed to be just another ordinary journey like the others.
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Lee Moy’s son Wong Wei Long, 35, said his mother had been looking forward to the birth of his son, due in April.
“The boy would be my first after three daughters.
“My mother had been waiting for him to be born. It’s hard for us to accept that she is no longer with us,” said Wei Long.
The other deceased have been identified as van driver Wong Choun Chiet, 49, Foong Ah Lan, 67, and Seow Mee Tin, 72.
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The van’s co-driver Chang Them Kong, 70, succumbed to his injuries while receiving medical treatment.
The vehicle they were travelling in skidded and hit a road divider while on its way down near the KM4.8 mark of Jalan Genting Highlands at about 1.15pm on Wednesday.
A total of 14 people, including the two drivers, were in the van at the time of the accident.