British father and seven-year-old son killed in horrific crash in Dubai after driver fell asleep at the wheel
Man, 48, and son killed when off-road vehicle ploughed into bystanders
Smash injured six pedestrians and left the driver hospitalised
Happened at 1am Friday during holiday weekend to mark Eid
Almost 1,600 road accidents over weekend in Dubai alone
By TAHIRA YAQOOB
Sharjah: The expat and his young son died instantly when their driver lost control of the vehicle
A British father and his seven-year-old son were killed when their driver fell asleep at the wheel of their off-road vehicle and ploughed into a group of bystanders in the United Arab Emirates.
The 48-year-old man and his son died instantly in the horrific road accident, which injured six pedestrians and left the driver hospitalised.
The incident happened at 1am on Friday during a long bank holiday weekend to mark Eid, the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Police in Dubai said there were nearly 1,600 road accidents over the bank holiday in that emirate alone.
Most were caused by drivers ignoring road regulations by driving too fast, changing lanes without warning and not paying enough attention to the road, said colonel Khazraj Majid Mohammad, deputy director of Dubai police's command and control centre.
The British expatriate and his son were killed in Al Nahda, a residential district on the border of Dubai and its neighbouring emirate Sharjah.
Police said the Indian driver had fallen asleep at the wheel of their Chevrolet Tahoe and lost control of the 4x4, which then veered off the road and ploughed into the group of pedestrians.
The driver, who has not been named, told officers he was exhausted and stressed after working throughout the public holiday.
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He was taken to Kuwait Hospital in Sharjah for treatment and is being held by police while they investigate the incident.
The two victims were among eight people killed over the weekend in Sharjah. Early on Saturday six members of a Pakistani family, including four children and their parents, died when their Nissan Altima hit a barrier before flipping over and bursting into flames. All six victims died at the scene.
The UAE's roads are notoriously lethal with an average 5,000 driving offences committed every day. According to police records, there were 400 crashes in the first two months of the year, resulting in 33 deaths.
Notorious: There were nearly 1,600 road accidents over the long Eid weekend in Dubai alone, police said
Recent figures from the World Health Organisation show there are 37.1 road deaths every year per 100,000 inhabitants in the UAE - more than 10 times the number caused by road accidents in the UK.
Ramadan sees the number of road accidents in the Islamic country soaring as fasting Muslims race to get home in time to break their day-long fast at sunset.
Last week a family of five, including a nine-month-old baby, were killed when their car ploughed into a vehicle which had stopped in the middle lane of a motorway.
And in July, 20-year-old Mohammad Vahedna, an Indian student based in London and visiting family in Dubai, died when his bright yellow Ferrari hit a kerb at speed, then flipped and smashed into a tree before turning into a fireball.
The supercar hit the tree with such force, it split in two before bursting into flames as his brother Hashim, 16, watched in horror from a car in front. The pair had been out for the day with friends go-karting at Dubai Autodrome.
In a separate incident the same month, three restaurant employees sitting on a wall waiting for a lift home after work were mowed down when a Mercedes spun out of control and crashed into their kitchen in Dubai.
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