A 53-year-old Omani bus driver is being prosecuted over the death of 17 passengers and the injury of 13 others on June 6.
The bus, routinely traveling back and forth between Oman and the UAE, carried 31 passengers on that day. It crashed into a height barrier at Al Rashidiya exit towards the metro station on Mohammad Bin Zayed road in Dubai.
Salah Bou Farrucha Al Felasi, advocate-general and head of the emirate's traffic prosecution, said the driver "will stand trial at the traffic court."
The Dubai traffic prosecution may demand he pays 3.4 million dirhams ($925,701) in blood money to the victim's families, alongside up to seven years in prison and other fines.
The 53-year-old had driven on that same road multiple times, but said he "couldn't see the height barrier and couldn't stop the bus in time," according to his son, who spoke to Gulf News. The vehicle is operated by the Omani National Transport Company Mwasalat, and travels between Muscat and Dubai on a daily basis.
A speed limit sign showed a "40km/h" instruction, however, the driver was driving at 94km/h. Warning signals are placed 342 meters ahead of the crash site, "indicating the right lanes and height requirements for all vehicles," alongside speed bumps signs.
"In addition, two big sign boards are put up to remind motorists to stick to the appropriate lanes. One of the boards is located 317 meters from the crash site, while the other is found just before the metal barrier that tore through the bus," Khaleej Times reported.
The driver took a road not designated for buses, ultimately hitting a height barrier that slashed through the left side of the bus.
June 6 marked the end of Eid El Fitr holiday and the beginning of the weekend. This meant many tourists and Muslims were on their way to the UAE to either celebrate with their families or to spend their vacation in Dubai.
The victims of the crash included Pakistanis, Indians, Omanis, and Irish nationals. The fatal accident took place moments before reaching the bus station.