x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Sleepy bus driver runs over Dubai Airport worker

A sleepy driver at Dubai airport dozed off and ran over the colleague he was supposed to be picking up, hears court.

DUBAI // A sleepy minibus driver at Dubai Airport dozed off and ran over a colleague, a court was told.

"It was nearly 1pm, the sun was blinding my eyes and I was tired and sleepy," the Indian driver SE, 23, told the Misdemeanours Court last week.

"I just closed my eyes and suddenly felt I hit the man."

The bus slammed into his compatriot, FF, 31, a machinery operator at the airport, who was waiting for the driver to take him to another work location.

"He was coming faster than he should. I tried to avoid him but it was too late," said the victim, who suffered multiple fractures.

The driver - who is also the man's supervisor - called the emergency services and the operator was taken to Welcare Hospital, where a screw had to be fixed into his right femur.

The victim told prosecutors his supervisor often drove his bus too close to him as a joke.

"That's true but I control my bus and I do it out of fun," said the driver. He claimed tiredness caused the crash, on August 19, 2011, telling prosecutors he worked from 5am to 5pm four days a week.

Asked why he kept working while so tired, he replied: "I couldn't take the day off or leave work whenever I wanted."

The Misdemeanours Court found him guilty of mistakenly causing an injury and fined him Dh5,000.

salamir@thenational.ae