Driver gets three years in jail for crash that killed Qatar family

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Ben Chris Rivera, Joyce Rivera and their one-year-old son, Arclian Zirc III

A Doha court has sentenced a young man to three years in jail and ordered him to pay QR1 million in blood money for his role in a 2014 car accident that killed five people.

A Filipino couple, their one-year-old baby and two family friends died after the defendant lost control of his speeding vehicle and collided with their parked car, which burst into flames.

According to Al Raya, the defendant was going 150 km/hr in a 60km/hr zone at the time. He was only 18 years old and had been driving without a license, for which the Qatari was also fined.

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Aftermath

He confessed to the prosecutor that he had been speeding near Hamad International Airport when the accident happened, the newspaper added.

The only survivor was the child’s aunt, who suffered severe burns after being thrown from the car, according to the Philippines ambassador at the time.

Two of her colleagues who were visiting her from Saudi Arabia were among the deceased, who all burned to death, he added.

Outrage

The accident occurred over Eid weekend in October 2014, during which two other deadly crashes occurred.

Emotions were high after the tragedy, with many residents expressing bitterness, anger and grief over what happened.

Some engaged in an online debate about road safety, imploring officials to step up enforcement. Others urged each other to drive more defensively.

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

It is unclear whether the defendant will have to pay the blood money himself, which comes out to QR200,000 a person.

Al Raya reports his lawyer requesting that the insurance company assist, but the registration on the vehicle was expired.

News of any plans to appeal the court’s verdict was also not immediately available.

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