No one should die such a horrible death
My son is dead? That is not possible.
This was the reaction of Mr Chang Ho Tiong's mother when she first heard that her son was killed in a traffic accident near Rochester, about 190km from Melbourne in Australia.
The Singaporean, 52, who was working on farms there, was on his way home after buying groceries when a car slammed head-on into his four-wheel drive on March 8.
The impact killed Mr Chang, his front-seat passenger and two teenagers in the other car.
Both vehicles then went up in flames, reported the Herald Sun of Melbourne.
It reported that the car the teenagers were in was going at "excessive speed". The boys were believed to have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of collision.
When her son's wife called her that night to tell her the bad news, she refused to believe her ears.
"He was alive and well when he phoned us during Chinese New Year last month," she told The New Paper in Mandarin.
She said the family immediately made arrangements to fly to Melbourne.
"I wanted to go but was advised not to. I was told that his body was charred and it would be better for me not to see it," she said.
Two of Mr Chang's three daughters, his uncle and older sister made the trip.
When they arrived in Melbourne, they were met by Mr Chang's friend of eight years, Mr Dennis Moon, 44. The Australian took the family around and put them up in his house on some nights.
Rochester is about a two-hour drive from Melbourne.
Mr Moon told TNP over the phone: "The family had to wait for about 1½ weeks for the police to release the body because it was a complicated accident.
"The police had to do DNA testing and there was the coroner's investigation. That took a while."
Mr Moon also arranged for a Buddhist monk, whom he found at a nearby town, to perform rites at the accident site on March 18.
Mr Chang's family flew back last Friday with his remains. They held a three-day wake that ended yesterday.