x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

British father and son die in UAE road smash after driver falls asleep at wheel

Dad and seven-year-old son killed during Eid when a 4x4 ploughed into their family who were walking between homes during the Eid holidays.

SHARJAH // A father and his seven-year-old son were killed when a 4x4 ploughed into their family while they were walking, after the driver fell asleep at the wheel.
The driver and six pedestrians were injured in the accident in Al Nahda, a residential area of Sharjah, at about 1am on Friday.
Police said the Indian driver had fallen asleep at the wheel of the Chevrolet Tahoe and lost control of the vehicle, which veered off the road and hit the pedestrians.
The British expatriate father, 48, and his son were killed instantly. The driver and the pedestrians were taken to the nearby Kuwait hospital for treatment to their injuries.
The driver told police he was under stress and tired after working through the Eid holidays. He is being detained to help police with their investigation.
Friday's accident brings the number of people killed on the emirate's roads over Eid Al Fitr to eight.
In the early hours of Saturday, six members of the same Pakistani family died when their Nissan Altima car left the road and hit a barrier before overturning and catching fire in a mountainous area of Wadi Al Helio in Kalba on the east coast.
The mother, father and four children all died at the scene.
The bodies of the victims were taken to Kalba hospital.
Zubair Saeed, whose brother Shaheed's family were killed in the crash, was on his way to Sharjah yesterday to take the bodies back to Bahawalpur in Punjab.
"You miss them when they're gone from your life," said Mr Saeed.
The accident is thought to have been caused by speeding and the driver not paying attention to the road, which resulted in his losing control of the car, said a police spokesman.
Officers have urged drivers in the emirate to strictly follow traffic rules, especially speed limits.
"There is no reason for anyone to be speeding. The traffic police are very strict on this violation, especially in residential areas where people are walking," said a spokesman.
This month, in the final week of Ramadan, five people including a baby were killed in a crash on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. The accident happened after a burst tyre forced a car to stop in the middle of the road and another vehicle smashed into it.
The car with tyre trouble, a Ford Explorer, was struck by a Toyota Yaris.
"Instead of stopping at the side of the road, the car stopped in the middle of the road," said Lt Imran Al Hamadi of Dubai Traffic Police.
On July 27, three Dubai restaurant employees were killed after a Mercedes spun out of control at high speed and ran into their kitchen. Two Asian employees were killed instantly. A third Asian worker died from his injuries.
* An earlier version of this article said that the British father and son died when their driver fell asleep at the wheel when in fact, they were walking when the driver of the 4x4 fell asleep and crashed into them.