A month after Klang marathon crash, husband of runner still waiting for justice

By Ida Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 ― Runner Evelyn Ang who was hit by a car while pacing at a marathon in Klang last month is out of her coma, but her husband is beginning to wonder if the athlete who remains unconscious will find justice.

Ang's husband, Dennis Loo, said she has undergone four surgeries since the accident last December and is now in stable condition, but still needs intensive care.

When she recovers, Ang will also be on a long road to recovery and an even longer one to return to her days of being an ultramarathoner.

“She is no longer in an induced coma but has not regained consciousness either. She is off the respirator and her general condition is now stable but she is still not conscious yet. She is out of ICU but is she being monitored vigilantly,” he told Malay Mail in a written response.

“We pray every day that she will wake up soon. She is well taken care of at the hospital but she is going to need a lot of surgery and treatment in the near, medium and distant future.

“I am focusing on her road to recovery but at the same time I can't help but wonder whether action will be taken against all parties responsible for what happened to her. I certainly hope justice will be served,” he said.

He also expressed gratitude to the Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin for visiting his wife when she was first admitted, adding: “We appreciate the ministry's concern over this matter.”

Last December 10, Ang and two other runners were hit by a driver at 4.30am at the 14km mark during the Klang City International Marathon 2017. Ang reportedly suffered a skull fracture with bleeding in her brain, while the two others — Amiruddin Hamid and fellow pacer Ahmad Hadafi Jus — sustained minor injuries.

Ultra runner Evelyn Ang is seen here at the Twincity Marathon 2017 that was held on January 15, 2017, where she came in 10th in the Women's Veteran category. ― Picture courtesy of Ana Fauzi

Police probes

Last month, the Klang Utara district police began investigating the 27-year-old driver under Section 43(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for careless and inconsiderate driving, while the Klang Selatan district police initiated a probe on the marathon’s organiser under Section 36(1) of the Sports Development Act 1997 for allegedly organising the event without obtaining a licence from the Sports Commissioner.

The driving offence is punishable by a fine of between RM4,000 and RM10,000 and a maximum one-year jail term while those convicted for the offence under the Sports Development Act face penalties of a maximum RM5,000 fine, maximum six-month jail term or both.

Police say the driver’s urine tested negative for alcohol or drugs at the time, but added last month that his blood sample was sent for further testing to determine if he had abused any substances.

When contacted, Klang Utara district police chief Asst Comm Mazelan Paijan said police have completed investigations and are now awaiting results of the sample.

“The investigation papers have been at the Putrajaya prosecutor's office since three weeks ago. The chemist report has yet to be obtained,” he told Malay Mail.

Klang Selatan district police chief Asst Comm Shamsul Amar Ramli confirmed to Malay Mail that investigations on their end have also been completed.

“Klang Selatan has completed taking action and it is now at the State Prosecution Director's office after being referred twice,” he said, adding that the case is to be coordinated with the accident case probed by the Klang Utara police district.

When contacted, Selangor prosecution director Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad told Malay Mail that his office had received the investigation papers.

“I have reviewed and those investigation papers have been circulated to the prosecution division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers for further instructions,” he said in an email response.

Evelyn Ang hits the gong after scoring a new personal best for a full marathon at the Twincity Marathon 2017, which saw her running with reflective gear and reminding fellow runners to stay safe on the roads in Cyberjaya and Putrajaya. ― Picture courtesy of fellow runner Vincent Khor

Improve safety

Ana Fauzi said Ang, her close friend, was always cautious of traffic while running on the road, also hoping that road running and cycling on the roads will be made safer.

“Evelyn is a much sought-after pacer and very well-loved in the running community. All those who have run with Evelyn knows she is always vigilant, always warning others of oncoming traffic.

“Many runners and cyclists follow safety practices on the road but fall victim to errant drivers. Drivers should also be educated on the importance of safety and security around runners and cyclists.

“We hope this incident will make way for improvements in road running as well as cycling. Incidents like this are a huge concern when they occur but are too quickly forgotten. We hope the authorities, organisers, sponsors etc can work together to make an improvement,” said Ana, who is also an ultra runner like Ang.

Ang was among local pacers invited to help other runners set their tempo and complete a full marathon or 42.195km run during the Klang City International Marathon 2017 within six hours.

In a December 9 Facebook post prior to the run with a flagoff at 2am, Ang had urged other runners to “wear something reflective” as it would be a night run.