Dubai: A vehicle involved in a horrific crash that killed four Filipinos instantly on Good Friday in Abu Dhabi had stalled in the middle of the road, according to initial police investigations, officials said on Monday.
Four Filipinos, including three men and a woman, died instantly when their four-wheeled vehicle was rammed into by an incoming car as they were driving from Dubai to Abu Dhabi at 7am on Friday. The victims’ vehicle was said to have stalled on the third lane of the four-lane Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Road when the crash happened near Shahama.
The deceased were identified as Veronica Dulay, 39, who worked as a secretary; Daniel Paulo Paraiso, 30, a storekeeper; Marvin Mendoza, 27, also a storekeeper, and Lord Christian Asuncion Elli, 29, an interior designer, based on the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration database.
The two other passengers, Mary Ann Mendoza, 29, an administration officer, and Anna Paula Paulino, are currently in critical condition at Al Rahba Hospital.
Philippine Ambassador Constancio Vingno Jr has met with the family of the victims. The embassy is handling the case and is assisting the family.
Paul Raymund Cortes
Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes said the consulate is coordinating with the employers of the victims. Cortes said the consulate would give the maximum assistance possible, as with all other cases.
Contrary to initial reports that the victims’ car had a burst tyre, the car stalled because one of its tyres wiggled, Cortes said on Monday, quoting a police report.
The driver, Dulay, and the three men alighted from the vehicle while on the third lane to check when a vehicle from behind rammed into their car that spun out of control and hit all four victims, throwing them off a distance.
“I’d like to remind our kababayans [compatriots] who drive to double check the condition of their vehicles before going on the road and to make sure everything is in good condition. If you’re in the middle of the road and something happens, as per police, drive to the shoulder and don’t attempt to fix it yourself as it is not safe,” Cortes said.
“Also, when you’re in a stalled vehicle, stay away from that vehicle and make sure you are visible to other motorists and put up your emergency warning devices.”
A similar accident happened in August 2013 when a Jordanian driver stopped in the third lane of Shaikh Zayed Road — Abu Dhabi direction when her tyre got punctured. Despite being warned to take the car off the road, the driver reportedly didn’t listen. A car then rammed into the parked vehicle, killing all its four passengers belonging to one family.
Meanwhile, a family friend of one of the Filipino victims described the six friends as “kind, very religious, and devout Catholics.” They were going to Abu Dhabi for a ‘Visita Iglesia’, a Holy Week practice where devotees visit churches across the country.
“Since the accident, the family’s focus is on the speedy recovery of the two victims who are still in critical condition in an Abu Dhabi hospital,” the friend said.
Labour Attache Felicitas Bay said the families of Dulay and Paraiso will both receive 200,000 pesos each as accident death benefits and 20,000 pesos each as funeral assistance because they are active members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
She urged Filipinos in the UAE to regularly renew their OWWA membership of Dh92 every two years to be entitled to monetary assistance in the event of an accident or death.