Dubai: The driver who hit cyclist Richard Holland on October 11, this year, will stand trial on charges of negligent driving, Gulf News has learnt.
The 30-year-old South African triathlete sustained severe traumatic brain and other injuries in the accident. His cycle was smashed. He remains semi-conscious at a Dubai Hospital.
Salah Bu Farousha, head of Dubai Traffic Public Prosecution, confirmed that Holland was in the correct lane when the 48-year-old Gulf national car driver apparently knocked him down.
“The driver has been accused of failing to keep a safe distance between his vehicle and the cyclist. He has also been charged with negligently causing injuries to the South African cyclist after he misestimated the distance and rammed into the bicycle. The driver was also responsible for wrecking the bicycle. According to the traffic police report, the cyclist was thrown off his bicycle with the impact of the collision,” Bu Farousha said.
The suspect is expected to stand trial at the Dubai Traffic Misdemeanours Court shortly.
According to the Federal Penal and Traffic Law, the defendant, if found guilty, could face between a month and three years in jail and a fine of Dh1,000 to Dh30,000, Bu Farousha said.
Speaking to Gulf News, Holland’s mother Judy Rothschild, said: “I do not want to comment on the court case till the trial has concluded.”
She said her son’s condition is stable and he is benefiting from regular physiotherapy. “We are grateful to the Dubai community for the love and support as well as the level of medical care. We appreciate the efforts towards raising funds to cover Richard’s medical costs.”
The Back on Your Bike (www.backonyourbike.com) campaign was launched in November by Holland’s family and friends as a link for donations.
The initial target is $150,000, which will cover medical expenses for the next few months. The ultimate target is $1.7 million, a number estimated by the DANA Foundation, a US-based philanthropy, as the lifetime expense of caring for a patient in Holland’s condition.
Details on whether Holland’s family plans to seek civil compensation before the trial reaches the appeal stage were not available at the time of going to press.