x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Teen motorcycle crash victims remembered

Families, friends and teachers of two 17-year-olds killed in a Dubai motorcycle accident pay tribute at private memorial service.

DUBAI // The friends, families and teachers of two 17-year-olds killed in a Dubai motorcycle accident last week paid tribute to the students in a 45-minute private memorial yesterday.

More than 800 students, school staff and relatives of Ujjwal Kapasi and Shivani Pahlajani, both Grade 12 students, gathered at the Dubai Gem Private School to read poems, recall fond memories and sing a prayer in an emotional afternoon, school officials said.

Relatives of the teenagers and former pupils thronged the school's auditorium and watched videos and pictures of the two growing up.

"The memorial was a fitting tribute to the two young students," said Keith Sedgwick, the school's principal. "The students spoke about Ujjwal's character and how he was a fun-loving, caring person who looked after a lot of them. They wanted to celebrate his life rather than grieve his death."

Ujjwal, a pupil of Dubai Gem Private School, and Shivani, a pupil at Emirates International School who had previously attended Dubai Gem, died when their motorcycle was in a collision with a private car in the Satwa area.

Police said the April 1 accident occurred after the motorcycle jumped a red signal. Ujjwal died at the scene, while Shivani succumbed to her injuries in hospital.

Mr Sedgwick said: Both were spoken about very lovingly and were described as bright and bubbly youngsters. They were convinced they had left their footprints behind. These young people have led a charismatic life and their loss has made students aware of the transient nature of life."

pkannan@thenational.ae