Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Dubai school devastated by death of child in car park

Insiya Vasihi was hit by a vehicle outside Greenfield International near Jebel Ali on Monday

Greenfield International School has brought in counsellors to support teachers and pupils following the death of four-year-old Insiya Vasihi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Greenfield International School has brought in counsellors to support teachers and pupils following the death of four-year-old Insiya Vasihi. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Latest: Female motorist arrested after death of child, 4, outside Dubai school

Tributes were paid to a four-year-old girl who died when she was struck by a car outside her school in Dubai.

Insiya Vajihi and her mother were hit by a reversing vehicle driven by a driver in the car park of Greenfield International at 3.40pm on Monday.

Dubai Police said the woman driver stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake. It is understood she is a hired driver and not a parent. Officers are investigating and have not said whether any action has been taken yet.

Words cannot describe how difficult this time is for the entire school community

Allan Weston, Greenfield International School

"We can now sadly confirm that our student, Insiya Vajihi, was tragically killed in the accident and her mother sustained multiple fractures and is now recovering in hospital," principal Allan Weston said in a letter to parents on Tuesday.

"Words cannot describe how difficult this time is for the entire school community. We are doing all that we can to provide support as we help each other through this most difficult of times."

The principal said the school had provided counselling support for children and staff, especially to those who knew Insiya well.

"We also have psychologists from The LightHouse Arabia on site to help provide guidance on how to communicate, counsel and support our primary and secondary students through this tragic period of grief and mourning," he wrote.

"I want to thank the many parents who have made contact with us, both last night and this morning, offering words of sympathy and support as well as suggestions for ways, that we as a school community, can best cope with the grief this tragedy has brought to our community.

Police published this photograph showing a car had driven into other parked vehicles outside the school. Courtesy: Dubai Police
Police published this photograph showing a car had driven into other parked vehicles outside the school. Courtesy: Dubai Police

"I know you will join me in offering our sincere condolences to the Vajihi family and friends of Insiya.

"This is an incredibly sad day for our community. I know that, given all the offers of support and sympathy from you that the strength of our community will help us, and particularly our students, through these most difficult of times."

Andrew Mitchell, head of primary at Greenfield, said in a letter to parents: "It is obviously a difficult time for our community.

"I appreciated the words and messages of support from the school community this morning and our thoughts remain very much with the Vajihi family at this time."

Last month, a security guard was killed when a parent also accidentally stepped on the accelerator.

Lil Bahador Pariyar died outside Universal American School in Festival City on October 14.

Police are still investigating and it is not yet known if any action has been taken against the parent behind the accident.

Following the latest accident, parents were highly critical of the way some drivers behave around schools across the city.

"I work in a school and the driving that I witness is unbelievable," Suzanne Arruda wrote on the Facebook page of The National.

"Parents speeding. Parents cutting others off. Parents jumping curbs to park illegally. Kids not belted in.

"There should be police placed at each school at drop-off and collection times to monitor the behavior of traffic flow. Police cameras installed and drivers severely dealt with on violations. This is a public safety issue and our children should be priority number one."

Andreia Souza also wrote: "Daily I see parents using cars as weapons when I drop my kids at school, even when putting their own kids at risk. I'm sorry for the mother who lost her kid in such a tragic accident."

Updated: November 6, 2019 04:01 PM

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