NAT BUS CRASH FILE-1614243591643
After hitting the barrier at 94 km/h in an area with a 40 km/h speed limit, the bus had stopped 44m away from the point of impact Image Credit:

Dubai: The Dubai Court of Appeal has reduced the sentence of the Omani bus driver who was charged with causing the wrongful death of 17 passengers and injuring 13 others in June 2019.

The verdict in the case of the 55-year-old Omani driver was reduced to one year in jail and payment of Dh3.4 million in blood money to the families of the victims.

The driver had received a seven-year sentence from the Dubai Traffic Court in July 2019. The court ordered to deport the driver in addition to paying a Dh50,000 fine. His licence was suspended for one year.

The Dubai Court of Appeal reduced the sentence to one year in jail and withdrew the deportation order.

However, the driver must pay Dh3.4 million in blood money to the families of the victims and the Dh50,000 fine.

Twelve Indians, two Pakistanis, an Irish, Omani and Filipina were killed in the accident.

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How the accident happened

The Muscat-to-Dubai Mwasalat bus service struck an overhead height barrier at 94km/h on June 6, 2019, at the turn off from Mohammad Bin Zayed Road leading onto Rashidiya Road, where it was due to make a scheduled stop at Rashidiya Metro. The driver took a wrong turn to the left, which was not designated for buses as it had a height restriction. He took the left turn instead of going right.

Dubai Traffic Prosecution said earlier that the driver could not follow the signboards as the sun shade had obstructed his view.

According to Dubai Prosecution, there are two lanes for buses and taxis in the four-lane road leading to the entrance of Al Rashidiya Metro station. There are also flashing light signboards 342 metres from the location of the accident to warn drivers of the upcoming height restriction, speed bumps and two big signboards to warn drivers to stay in lane before the barrier.

After hitting the barrier at 94 km/h in an area with a 40 km/h speed limit, the bus stopped 44 metres away from the point of impact.

The case was appealed in the Dubai Cassation Court on Monday and the court upheld the appeal court verdict.

Case timeline

June 6, 2019: Bus rammed into the height barrier.

July 2, 2019: Omani bus driver appeared in Dubai Traffic Court.

July 9, 2019: Defence lawyers blamed the height barrier’s positioning on the road.

July 11, 2019: Driver found guilty Dubai Traffic Court.

August 1, 2019: First hearing at Dubai Court of Appeal.

September 19, 2019: Defence lawyer claimed that several errors led to the crash that aren’t the driver’s fault.

October 31, 2019: Dubai Court of Appeal ordered to assign a committee of experts to examine the crash site.

January 7, 2021: Sentence overturned from seven years in jail to one year in jail and remove the deportation order.

February 22, 2021: Cassation Court upheld the appeal sentence.