Car plunge death will never be explained, family fears
MYSTERY OVER SIXTH-FLOOR FALL
Linda’s wrecked BMW X6, in which she suffered fatal injuries after a car park accident THE family of a woman who plunged to her death from the sixth floor of an Abu Dhabi car park have spoken of their sadness that her death will never be explained.
Linda Al-Selmie’s white BMW X6 reversed through a barrier and she suffered fatal injuries as the vehicle hit the ground 80ft below in January 2015.
An inquest at Crook Coroner’s Court into her death revealed the barrier was too short, too close to the edge of the car park and not strong enough.
And coroner Crispin Oliver said a criminal investigation into Mrs Al-Semie’s death is now under way in the United Arab Emirates.
The court heard skid marks from the 53-yearold’s 4x4 tyres were left in the parking space, where the driver appeared to have slammed on her brakes.
Mr Oliver said: “I have received evidence from Abu Dhabi police’s forensic evidence department, on behalf of the attorney general in respect of the barrier and a matrix report into the strength of the barrier, which I understand Mr Wajhi Al-Selmie believes to be unsatisfactory.
“A report on the barriers, published in December 2015, said the barrier has not been constructed in accordance with the guidance. The barrier at the edge of the building was 16.68cm too short and should have been 110cm further from the edge.”
Investigations into the 90cm-tall barrier showed it was neither high enough, nor far enough from the edge, to adhere to regulations. Mrs Al-Selmie died at the scene from an inter-cerebral haemorrhage and crushed chest, the coroner found, after her BMW fell 24m and landed close to the Sheik Khalifa energy complex’s main entrance.
After a two-and-a-half year wait following the tragedy, Linda’s British-based family say they are relieved to have “something resembling closure”.
Her sister Marjorie Carney told of her sadness that the family will probably never know what caused her to plummet from multi-storey car park.
Speaking after the coroner’s verdict of accidental death, she said: “We will never know what caused the car to go over the barrier in these circumstances,” she said, adding: “but we now know there’s a fault with the building.”
Linda grew up in Darlington before spells studying in Cardiff and living in Manchester, before moving to the Middle East with husband Wajhi Al-Semie, an Iraqi-born engineer.
Marjorie said her sister “loved living over there,” but hit out over a lack of support from government officials in establishing what happened in Linda’s final moments.
Marjorie also praised the coroner and coroner’s officer Dawn Carter for dealing with authorities in the UAE, as well as the tireless efforts of the late woman’s husband, saying “without his efforts, we wouldn’t have even got this far.”
Widower Wajhi continues to fight for answers in the UAE, but the family aren’t confident that the ongoing criminal proceedings will amount to “proper justice”.
Mr Oliver added: “It appears to me the proceedings in the UAE are of a regulatory nature, rather than those likely to result in a manslaughter, or corporate manslaughter charge.” CORONER CRISPIN OLIVER