Four avoid jail over girl’s death on school bus
Four men avoid prison sentence after child’s fall
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