Dubai Police said the Omani national was speeding and failed to read traffic signs properly
An Omani national who was at the wheel of a bus that crashed in early June in Dubai, killing 17 people, is now facing criminal charges which may result in prison time of up to seven years and a AED 3.4 million ($925,670) payment in blood money, according to Dubai officials.
Dubai Police allege that the driver, 53, was driving at a speed of 94 kilometres per hour on the day of the incident, more than twice the limit of the road. Additionally, officials believe that he paid inadequate attention to traffic signs, resulting in him driving the bus onto a lane with a height restriction.
In addition to the fatalities, 13 people were injured in the incident.
After an investigation took place, the driver was arrested and referred to Dubai’s Traffic Court where he now faces three charges, Salah Al Felasi, the director of traffic prosecution, told reporters on Wednesday.
If convicted, the driver may face up to seven years of prison time as well as AED 3.4 million ($925,670) in blood money to the families of the deceased.
The passengers – who were returning from Oman following Eid Al Fitr holidays – included citizens of Germany, Ireland, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.
The driver, who was injured in the incident, reportedly told police that he missed the warning signs because he had used a curtain to block the sun, and that he was unfamiliar with the exit.