Rescuers were able to pull the wreckage, along with the body of the victim pinned inside, from the waters off of Penang Bridge yesterday. Over the last three days, officials had attempted to find, and later extricate the vehicle, in the sea’s fast currents.
Finally, after one unsuccessful attempt by divers to attach a harness to the white Mazda SUV down below, a crane slowly pulled the car up from 15 meters below. The tangled metal of the car still had its driver, 20-year-old student Moey Yun Peng, inside. Witnesses described his hand still gripping the car door through the smashed window.
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Norther Region director, First Admiral Rozali Mohd Said, was tasked with leading the search and recovery operation. He told reporters that his initial observations point to Moey potentially having survived the impact of the crash, and subsequent fall into the water.
Describing the driver’s side door as ajar, but stuck, he also detailed that Moey’s shoe-less foot was sticking out from the windscreen.
Strong tidal currents had hampered rescuers efforts in the days following the accident, with a full moon adding to even higher waters than normal. Many of the divers reported feeling exhausted as they attempted to retrieve the victim and car.
Officials had to wait until the tide was at its lowest under the bridge to safely dive in. Up to 169 personnel were involved in the recovery operation.
Video dash-cam footage captured the Saturday morning accident along the Penang Bridge, showing the two cars driving towards the mainland from the island, with a Vios driver speeding and subsequently losing control of the car. He strikes the white SUV driven by Moey, causing it to spin on the road and eventually flip over the barrier into the dark waters below.
It has now emerged that both drivers in the incident knew each other, and had been at a birthday party on the island prior to the incident. The Vios driver has since tested positive for marijuana. More details are not available at this time.
Moey’s body was taken to the Seberang Jaya Hospital for a full postmortem.