Dubai: Officials have urged motorists and pedestrians to exercise caution and obey road rules after three people were killed and three others injured when a car rammed into a restaurant in the Al Barsha area early Friday morning.
The dead comprised two Asian restaurant workers who were killed on the spot while a third compatriot died in hospital. Police said the car smelled of alcohol and medical tests have been undertaken to determine if the driver was drunk.
This brings the number of people killed on Dubai roads to 85 so far this year, compared with 49 deaths in the same period last year, police said.
Most of the fatalities were caused by speeding, reckless driving or driving under the influence of alcohol.
In the latest smash on Friday morning, a speeding Angolan driver crashed his Mercedes S-Class luxury sedan into a restaurant in Al Barsha 3 at around 2.40am on Friday, killing the three restaurant workers and injuring three others.
Senior Chief Prosecutor Salah Bu Farousha, Head of Dubai Traffic Public Prosecution (TPP), said six people have died since the start of Ramadan (July 10) in four separate incidents.
“An Emirati driver died in the first accident after his car overturned. Meanwhile, an Indian driver died after he lost control over his speeding car that overturned and was gutted by fire. Also, a pedestrian was killed [separately], while the remaining three [fatalities were involved] in Friday’s accident,” said Bu Farousha.
“We seriously urge road users and driver to be more attentive and cautious while driving and particularly before iftar and suhour time. Drivers usually tend to lose concentration before iftar and suhour, but we strongly advise them to constantly remain on the alert while driving and to abide by the law for their safety and that of other road users,” he told Gulf News.
In Friday’s incident, the 21-year-old driver lost control over his speeding vehicle, veered off the street’s right lane, hit a signpost, then crashed into the restaurant’s front side, Bu Farousha went on to say.
“Two of the restaurant’s workers died on the spot, according to the onsite inspections that were carried out by Traffic Prosecutor Hamad Al Ali. Meanwhile, a third worker died when he arrived at hospital. A 21-year-old Brazilian female passenger, who was in the same car with the Angolan driver who caused the accident, sustained moderate injuries. Two Asian workers, who sustained serious and moderate injuries, were admitted to hospital along with a woman,” said Bu Farousha.
Police patrols from Bur Dubai Police Station and ambulances were dispatched to the accident site.
“Very high speed and inattentive driving are believed to be the main causes of the accident. We informed the Acting Attorney-General, Yousuf Al Mutawa, immediately about the accident. The driver has been held under provisional detention pending further investigation at the TPP first thing on Saturday morning.
“Urine and blood samples have been taken from the Angolan driver for testing to decide whether he was driving under the influence of liquor. We will hear the statements of witnesses and victims according to their health conditions,” added Bu Farousha.
Traffic prosecutors will also examine surveillance footage. The TPP will follow up on the victims’ conditions in coordination with Dubai Health Authority, said Bu Farousha.
Meanwhile, Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, acting director of the Dubai Police Traffic Department also urged greater care on the road.
He said 142 accidents occurred in the past six months from driving under the influence of alcohol, with 39 people injured and 258 cars involved in those accidents.