Runner, official seriously injured in Penang relay mishap (Updated)

09 Dec 2018 / 18:55 H.

GEORGE TOWN: A runner and a marshal were seriously injured after they were hit by a car during the Penang Amateur Athletic Association (PAAA) Annual Round The Island Relay here today.

Cheah Ting Cong, 16, was riding pillion on a motorcycle with 51-year-old marshal, Lee Foo Beng, when the car rammed them shortly after the event was flagged off at the Esplanade at 4am.

They had been taken to the Penang General Hospital where Lee is receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for head injuries while Cheah was injured in her legs.

The annual event is not recognised by the state government, according to Soon Lip Chee who is the state exco in-charge of the Youth and Sports portfolio.

He said state has contacted the organiser of the event and is ready to assistance to the accident victims.

“All sports function must not only obtain approval from the Sports Commissioner but also receive support or recognition from state government under Youth and Sports Department in order to allow the state to monitor the event,” he said.

He said priority must be given to the safety of participants as stated in the Development Sports Act 1997.

The organiser of the event couldn’t be contacted for comments.

The relay, covering about 72.63km run, passed through Gelugor, Bayan Lepas, Sungai Batu, Balik Pulau, Genting, Sungai Rusa, Sungai Pinang, Teluk Bahang, Batu Ferringhi, Tanjung Bungah and Tanjung Tokong before returning to the Esplanade.

A Southwest district police spokesman said the car involved in the accident was driven by a 34-year-old man.

He said the car hit the motorcycle from behind. The marshal was flung to the opposite lane while the pillion rider fell near the point of impact.

“The driver has been detained for further investigations under Road Transport Act 1987,” he said, adding that his blood alcohol level would be checked.

Meanwhile, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong said his ministry would investigate the incident which came on the heels of a series of accidents during such events.

Marathon pacer Evelyn Ang was hit by a car from the back during the Klang City International Marathon in December 2017. She died on Feb 28 after fighting for her life for more than two months.

Last month runners at the annual Penang International Marathon complained of severe weather and one of them barely escaped a lightning bolt when a thunderstorm struck along the Penang Bridge.

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