Browsing 'crash' News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

HMC/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

With reporting from Riham Sheble

At least four people have been killed and 15 others injured in a spate of car accidents this week, spurring calls from residents for improved road safety in Qatar.

One crash took place during the early hours of Saturday morning, killing two residents and injuring four. And at least three car accidents occurred on Sunday alone, killing two people and injuring 11.

Road accidents are a leading cause of death in Qatar. Despite efforts from authorities to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries from such crashes, many residents say bad driving continues to be a big problem on the nation’s roads.

Two Filipinos killed

Around 1:30am Saturday morning, six Filipina expats were involved in a car accident on their way home, and two of them died, the Philippines embassy told Doha News. 

It is unclear why their vehicle crashed, but the women, ages 33 and 35 years old, were killed at the scene and the driver, along with the remaining four passengers, was wounded.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Jude Freeman/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The women were on their way home after finishing their late-night shifts as caterers at a wedding function in Al Kharityat. Their staff accommodation was located along Shamal Road, near the location of the function.

The driver and the passengers were rushed to Hamad Hospital’s Emergency Department to receive urgent treatment, with one Filipino sustaining serious head injuries. She is currently under care at Hamad’s Intensive Care Unit.

Two of the passengers have several fractures and are also under treatment, and one was recently discharged to recuperate at home.

The driver is also said to be injured and under Hamad’s care. His injuries are not too severe, according to an embassy representative.

A full report is yet to be released, but the embassy said that there appears to be no other car involved. The driver, who is from Egypt, will be questioned upon his recovery.

‘Too many innocent people’

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

Supplied

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

The deadly accident comes weeks after five Filipinos were killed in a car accident after being struck by a young local driver who had no driver’s license or car insurance, and whose vehicle had racked up 44 traffic violations over a period of 13 months.

The driver was reported by the traffic department to be speeding when he hit the family’s parked car, causing it to erupt in flames and burn the passengers inside.

The tragedy caused a heated debate among residents on social media about Qatar’s perilous roads and a lack of authoritative monitoring.

Reflecting on the two critical accidents, a Philippines embassy representative recently sent out a reminder to its nationals, telling Doha News:

“Please, please be extra cautious — as a driver, passenger and even a pedestrian. The number of vehicle related accidents are only rising and too many people are losing their lives. It’s saddening. Too many innocent people are being killed on the road.”

Sunday’s accidents

Separately, at least three car accidents took place on Sunday, taking the lives of two and injuring as many as 11 people, according to an Al Raya report.

According to the newspaper, in one of the accidents, the driver of a Land Cruiser swerved out of control along Salwa Road, causing the car to crash into a workshop located on the busy strip of shops at the side of the road.

Both the driver and one of the workshop’s mechanics were killed, and one mechanic was injured in the accident, which took place around 6:30am.

Al Raya did not mention the nationalities of those involved, but a Pakistan embassy representative told Doha News that the mechanic killed was from Pakistan.

The embassy confirmed that the 36 year-old mechanic suffered “multi-trauma injuries” and paperwork is now being done to ensure his body is repatriated.

Some of Salwa Road's shops

Richard Molpus/Flickr

Photo of Salwa Road shops for illustrative purposes only.

The second accident also involved a motorist who lost control of his Land Cruiser. While no one was killed at the scene of the crash at a construction site off of D-Ring Road, six people were severely injured, including the driver himself, Al Raya reports.

The newspaper stated that for unknown reasons, the driver suddenly swerved off the road and drove into an excavation next to the Kahramaa building, where several construction workers were working on site.

Five construction workers and the driver suffered extensive injuries. One of those involved was a Qatari citizen, according to Al Raya.

Sunday’s third car accident involved the collision of two cars in Al Mamourah at 8:30pm. Four residents were involved in the accident and all of them were injured.

Speaking to Doha News, a Palestinian embassy representative confirmed that three of the residents involved were Palestinian nationals.

tumblr_inline_momey0rrGw1qz4rgp

Those involved in Sunday’s three car accidents were all rushed to Hamad Hospital’s Emergency Department as police attended to the scene, according to Al Raya’s report.

National efforts

Amid ongoing discussion about Qatar’s road woes, one of the country’s top traffic police officers said this week that distracted driving is one of the top reasons for traffic accidents here.

Speaking to Doha News, Brig. Mohammed Saad Al-Kharji, the director-general of Qatar’s traffic department, said:

“(In the case of) more than 80 percent of the accidents, they are using their mobile.”

To tackle that problem, several Qatar-based firms have launched apps that lock a motorist’s phone while a vehicle is in motion.

In another attempt to curb road accidents, a number of new officers are expected to complete their training in the coming weeks and begin patrolling Qatar’s roads and highways, as well as be stationed on foot at certain intersections, Al-Kharji added.

And finally, additional road surveillance cameras have also been strategically placed in recent times and new, advanced road radars are currently being installed across the country.

Thoughts?

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

Supplied

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

An 18-year-old Qatari man who had no driver’s license or car insurance may now face criminal charges in connection with the deaths of five Filipinos after a car accident near Hamad International Airport over Eid Al Adha.

A traffic department report shared by the Philippines ambassador with local media stated that the unnamed man was found to be driving with “excess speed, driving with no license (and) causing the death of more persons.”

Supplied

The young man’s Land Cruiser smashed into a family’s Nissan Pathfinder as it was parked on the side of the road on the Corniche-Al Wakrah highway on Oct. 6.

The Nissan then burst into flames, burning the passengers inside.

The tragedy sparked a heated debate among residents on social media about road safety in Qatar, with many asking what it would take for authorities to crack down on bad drivers.

Speaking to the Peninsula, Ambassador Crescente Relacion also said the speeding driver’s car insurance had also expired on Aug. 6 – two months before the accident.

Moreover, the driver had racked up 44 traffic violations in the 13 months from Aug. 22, 2013 to Sept. 26, 2014, Relacion said, quoting details from the Ministry of Interior’s General Administration of Traffic report on the incident.

Incident

Saudi residents Marilou Cal and Joyce Gelli.

Supplied

Saudi residents Marilou Cal and Joyce Gelli.

Bencris Rivera (36), his wife Joycelyn Torres Rivera (38) and one year-old son Arclian Zirc Torres Rivera were killed in the accident, along with two friends of the child’s aunt – Saudi residents Marilou Cal (24) and Joyce Gelli (27).

The family had been taking a tour of Doha and had stopped in a short-term parking bay on the highway to view the new airport. They were getting back into the car when it was hit from behind by the Land Cruiser.

According to the MOI’s report, the Pathfinder was thrown 104 meters down the road from the impact of the collision, while its passengers were still inside.

The Pathfinder then hit a curb, which caused the vehicle to burst into flames.

The five Filipinos died at the scene. The child’s aunt, Suzette Rivera-Baclor, was thrown from the car but survived the accident with injuries. The accident report notes:

“Driver A (the indictee) was driving his vehicle near Hamad International Airport towards East sticking to left track of road.

(The driver) hit with front cabin of his vehicle B (where the victims were) which was on the side road thereby it led to fringing of both vehicles to a distance of 104 metres approximately continuing to left side once again hitting to curbs leading to smoldering of vehicle B with five persons inside who died on the spot and injury of the other one inside the smoldered vehicle.

The indictee driver had some injuries and was given aid by Hamad Emergency. It was found that the indictee driver had no driving licence and the accident triggered the abovementioned damages.”

Bodies repatriated

Relacion confirmed that the bodies of all five deceased have now been repatriated. The body of Joyce Geli was returned to the Philippines on Friday, while the bodies of the other four were sent back the day before.

Before the repatriation, a relative of Bencris from the US and two brothers of Jocelyn from the Philippines had traveled to Qatar to process paperwork including insurance claims and lease agreements for the victims’ accommodation and cars, the Peninsula reported.

Relacion said: “They want to seek justice, meaning whatever punishment the law provides for the person concerned should be meted to out to the person.”

Shabina S. Khatri

He added that the embassy has appointed a lawyer to assist the family with the criminal aspects of the case.

According to Qatar law, the family of each of the deceased will receive QR200,000 in blood money (compensation). They also have the option to file further civil damages on top of that amount.

The Philippine Ambassador also called on the government to launch a road safety campaign.

“I also hope that the MoI would launch a vigorous campaign that would really inculcate the culture of safety among the public,” he told Gulf Times.

The embassy did not respond to repeated requests for comment from Doha News.

Thoughts?

Video has been circulating online and via BlackBerry Messenger of a Toyota Land Cruiser barreling through the storefront of an Al Zaman Currency Exchange branch in Al Khor.

The incident occurred on Thursday around 5:30pm, leaving at least four people injured, according to a report in the Peninsula newspaper.

A witness cited by the Peninsula said the driver of the Land Cruiser was simply “too old and lost control” of the vehicle.

Anybody know anything more?