(Photo credit: Gulf News/Dubai Police)
A 53-year-old Omani driver has been sentenced to seven years in jail and a fine of Dh3.4 million in blood money to the families of victims involved in the June 6 bus crash that claimed the lives of 17 people, Gulf News reports.
The sentenced was handed down on Thursday, July 11 at the Dubai Traffic Court, with the court also ordering the driver’s subsequent deportation after his jail term is served, a fine of Dh50,000, and a one-year suspension of his license.
Charged with causing injury to 13 passengers on a Mwasalat bus traveling from Muscat to Dubai, and the wrongful death of 17 others aboard, the driver is alleged to have taken a wrong left turn which was not designated for buses, leading the vehicle to hit an overhead height barrier at 94 km/h at the turn-off from Mohammed Bin Zayed Road leading onto Rashidiya Road, where the Rashidiya Metro was its next scheduled stop. Instead, the driver should have taken a right turn.
The speed limit in the area of the crash was 40 km/h and, traveling 94 km/h, the bus came to a halt 44 metres from its initial point of impact, Gulf News states.
Director of Traffic Prosecution, Prosecutor Salah Bu Farousha Al Felasi stated that the driver’s vision had been obscured by the vehicle’s sun shade which had prevented him from following the flashing light signboards 342 metres ahead of the accident site that warn drivers of the impending height restrictions and speed bumps, along with two additional large signboards telling drivers to stay in the lane before the barrier.
Dubai Prosecution stated that there are two lanes for buses and taxis in the four-lane road heading to the entrance of the Rashidiya Metro station.