x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Lorry driver ran over worker after text message, court hears

The 45-year-old from the Philippines was charged with accidentally causing the death of a person.

DUBAI // A lorry driver responding to a text message he received on a system installed by his employer accidentally ran over a man and killed him at Jebel Ali Port, the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours was told.

AF, 45, from the Philippines, was charged by prosecutors with accidentally causing the death of a person after failing to be vigilant while driving a heavy vehicle.

The incident happened on December 22. The defendant and the victim worked for Dubai World. The victim, a 23-year-old Pakistani, worked as field supervisor and the nature of his job included checking lorry loads.

MM, 24, an Indian lift operator, testified that the system installed in all Dubai World lorries provides the drivers with shipment loading and unloading locations.

AF was waiting in line to head to a specific loading location but received a text message giving him a new location. As he turned to drive to the new location, he accidentally ran over AA.

The defendant denied the charge and said he was not guilty.

"I moved my lorry after receiving a text order to change loading location and suddenly felt the tyres of my vehicle go slightly up and down as if they passed on some solid object," said AF, adding that he immediately stopped the lorry. "I saw the man lying down and don't know how he got there."

He said that he had previously seen AA behind another lorry checking its load's number.

The forensics report said the cause of death was a crushed skull and bleeding on the surface of the brain.

The next hearing will be on July 23.

salamir@thenational.ae