Friday, 1 October 2010

Reflections on a tragic death in Belsize Park

I am compelled to write about a tragic death at the top of my road in the early hours of Thursday morning. Any other subject would seem trivial by comparison.
A woman student from Singapore was a hit-and-run victim. Police believe she was dragged for many metres under the wheels of a lorry. Her body was found close to Belsize Park tube station in north-west London where I live.
The circumstances of her death are particularly heart-rending. She was just 20 and it was her birthday. Her name has yet to be revealed but her family have been informed.
Neighbours and local shopkeepers have spoken to me of nothing else today. Floral tributes have been laid by the side of the road.
I learnt of the tragedy from yesterday afternoon’s edition of the Evening Standard newspaper. Perhaps it was the proximity to my home but I have thought of little else since.
There is the fragility of life that can be so suddenly and violently snuffed out. There is the unfairness, which makes it so difficult to believe in a loving Creator.
One individual has taken away the life of another. But the lorry driver might not even know of the catastrophe that has been wrought.
There is the woman’s family a world away. They must have felt the unease all parents experience when their children venture from home and beyond their ability to protect. Being her birthday perhaps they had spoken in the hours before her life was taken. More than one life would have been destroyed yesterday.

It was later announced the victim was medical student Mingwei Tan, who was just about to begin her third year at Peterhouse College, Cambridge. My thoughts are with her family.


  1. Appreciate your thoughts and sympathies, but neither did Mingwei Tan or Singapore for that matter witnesses violent deaths. Not sure how much you know about my country but I believe the image of a 3rd world slum came to your mind.

    A Singaporean

  2. Dear GC -- Many thanks, but also please accept my apologies for being presumptuous.

    A Singaporean

  3. I hold no such opinion about Singapore. I apologise. My conclusion was ambiguous and therefore I shall change it. GC

  4. Dear GC
    She was knocked down outside The Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, and dragged down past Belsize Park tube. A bus driver has been srrested. Very unuusual. If it was not deliberate, then somehow he has not seen her. The driving standard for bus drivers is set very high and every year they are re-tested to ensure that their understanding of their public duty and awareness, has not deteriorated.


What do you think? GC