Four avoid jail over girl’s death on school bus

Four men avoid pri­son sen­tence af­ter child’s fall

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo @is­mailsebu is­

Four men who were con­victed of caus­ing the death of a child who fell out of the emer­gency exit of a school bus will not be sent to pri­son.

The Baniyas Ap­peal Court up­held an ear­lier rul­ing by a lower court, which found the bus driver and three tech­ni­cians, re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing the bus, guilty of neg­li­gence.

The judge, how­ever, spared the Asian men jail time, in­stead fin­ing each of them Dhs20,000.

He also or­dered all de­fen­dants to jointly pay blood money of Dhs200,000 to the girl’s fam­ily.

Court records stated that the Arab girl, who was un­der 10 but whose ex­act age was not men­tioned dur­ing the trial, was lean­ing against the emer­gency back door of the bus.

When the driver made a sud­den halt at a sharp turn, the door opened.

The girl lost her bal­ance and fell out off the bus, suf­fer­ing a frac­tured skull. She died in hospi­tal.

Pros­e­cu­tors had blamed the ac­ci­dent on the neg­li­gence of the driver and the men who were re­spon­si­ble for the main­te­nance of the school buses. Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions sug­gested that poor main­te­nance of the bus had caused the emer­gency door to open.

A com­mit­tee ap­pointed to look into the mat­ter, how­ever, couldn’t es­tab­lish what ex­actly caused the door to open as the prob­lem was sup­posed to be de­tected im­me­di­ately af­ter the ac­ci­dent.

Huda Ham­mad, a lawyer who rep­re­sented the three tech­ni­cians, had ar­gued that the com­mit- tee’s report had con­firmed that the bus was un­der­go­ing reg­u­lar main­te­nance.

He also ar­gued the cause of the ac­ci­dent should have been blamed solely on the driver for not en­sur­ing the emer­gency door was locked be­fore he took off on his jour­ney.

TRAGEDY: The young girl died when she fell from the emer­gency exit of the school bus

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