Croatian basketball player Drazen Petrovic Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Drazen Petrovic, a raw European talent who became one of the NBA’s top shooting guards, was killed instantly when a car driven by his girlfriend swerved out of control on a rain-slicked road and slammed into a truck. He was 28. Police said the New Jersey Nets star from Croatia was killed on a highway 24km from Ingolstadt in south-eastern Germany. He was travelling with his girlfriend, Klara Szalantzy, and another woman and was sitting in the front passenger seat. The car slammed into a trailer truck that had skidded in heavy rain on the slippery road. Szalantzy had to brake suddenly and lost control, slamming through a median rail and hitting the truck. Police identified the other woman as Hilal Haene. Both women were hospitalised with serious injuries. Police were still investigating the cause of the accident. In downtown Zagreb in Petrovic’s native Croatia, friends met in his coffee bar, Amadeus, early in the morning after learning of his death.

Other important events:

1862 Britain and the United States sign a treaty to suppress the slave trade.

1893 Mahatma Gandhi is thrown off a train in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, after refusing to leave a first-class carriage .

1917 Lions Clubs International is founded

1921 The first Parliament of Northern Ireland opens.

1935 Stanley Baldwin becomes British Prime Minister for the third time.

1938 Boeing 314 Clipper flying boat makes its first flight.

1940 The last British troops leave Narvik, Norway.

1942 The Battle of Midway in the Pacific ends in a major US victory over Japanese in the Second World War.

1950 Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen sign a Collective Security Pact in Alexandria, Egypt.

1968 The first Legoland park opens in Denmark.

1970 Voters in Switzerland reject a proposal to force almost one-third of a million aliens to leave that country.

1975 The inaugural Cricket World Cup begins in England.

1980 Lebanese Prime Minister Salim Hoss resigns.

1981 Israeli aircraft attack Osiris nuclear power plant in Iraq.

1988 Bangladesh’s parliament passes a constitutional amendment making Islam the national religion.

1992 Ebulfaz Elcibey wins Azerbaijan’s first multiparty presidential election.

1993 Bosnian Croats surrender to Serbs to escape “slaughter” by their former allies.

1995 Lee Teng-hui becomes the first Taiwanese president to set foot in US.

1997 Foreigners flee heavy fighting between rival militias in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

1998 Lebanon holds its first municipal elections in 35 years.

1999 Indonesians vote in democratic elections for the first time since 1955.

2001 Former Argentine president Carlos Menem is placed under house arrest as part of an alleged arms trafficking probe.

2003 An explosives-packed taxi rams a bus filled with German peacekeepers, killing four of them in Kabul.

2007 Cyclone Gonu batters Oman’s coast, flooding highways and tearing down trees and power lines.

2008 Unesco chooses Beirut as the World Book Capital.

2012 Saddam Hussain’s presidential secretary and chief bodyguard Abid Hamid Mahmoud is executed in Iraq.

2014 The UAE introduces a law implementing mandatory military service for Emirati men aged between 18 and 30.

2015 Stan Wawrinka becomes the oldest winner of the French Open in 25 years after beating Novak Djokovic in the final.

2017 Dubai International Airport launches Smart UAE Wallet, allowing departures using one’s smart phone.