On Wednesday morning, hundreds of Emiratis bid farewell to Suhail Saif Suhail Humaid Al Derei, the national student who was killed in a traffic accident while on an exchange program in the U.S.
The 20-year-old student's body was repatriated to the UAE and laid to rest in his hometown of Al Ain after the tragic car crash ended his life on Nov. 10.
Indiana State Police confirmed Al Darei's identity, saying he was enrolled as an exchange student at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.
In a statement on the matter, the department said the young man's Chevrolet Corvette crashed into a silver Kia driving in the wrong direction. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the fatal crash, according to Gulf News.
Initial investigations revealed that the Kia hit Al Derai's car head on, causing the tragic crash. Its driver, identified as Anna R. Warner, was also killed in the incident.
"The Kia struck a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette head on. The Corvette was traveling southbound in the centre lane. The inside lane (3rd lane) was closed at the time of the crash with orange traffic barrels for construction purposes," Indiana State Police also explained in the statement.
Al Derei had a passenger with him in the car at the time of the accident. The individual sustained minor injuries and was transported to a hospital for treatment.
As no further details were shared with the public, the young man's friends and relatives mourned him upon receiving the news.
Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, the advisor to the UAE's president, offered his condolences to the student's family
Some of Al Derei's classmates and friends were in disbelief
"May God have mercy on your soul"
Similar tragic incidents have been reported in recent years
Traffic accidents involving Emirati and other Arab exchange students in the U.S. have been reported over the years.
In 2013, a horrific crash claimed the life of 20-year-old Mohammed Rahma Al Blouky, who died after his motorbike collided with a vehicle on a road in Messa City, Arizona. The news sent shockwaves across the UAE at the time it was reported, especially because the deceased's family and friends shared gruesome details of the incident. These include information on the severity of the collision which caused the student's bike to fly over a distance of 100 meters on impact.
A few months back, four Lebanese students in California met the same fate when their car crashed against a sign pole. The students were going back home after suhoor, but the speed at which they were driving led the accident.