Camel collision kills driver on RAK road

An Emirati driver was killed on an unfenced desert road after he swerved to avoid a camel.

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RAS AL KHAIMAH // A driver was killed on an unfenced desert road after swerving to avoid a camel. The Emirati man died on Twaeen-al Saedi Road when he was apparently surprised by the animal and swerved to avoid it, police said. He hit it and his car was pushed into the path of an oncoming lorry. The man and the camel died at the scene; the lorry driver was unharmed. Police could not say exactly when the accident happened.

In February, an Arab man died in similar circumstances on the same stretch of road. In that accident, a car hit a camel, killing a passenger in the vehicle. The driver and two others also were injured. Vijay Hari, a tour guide with Gulf Adventure Tours who frequently works with camels, said the road is desolate, unfenced and near many camel farms. "If you drive through this road, you will see maybe 10 or 15 of them," he said. "Sometimes they are crossing the road. It's very dangerous."

Col Hassal al Jeeda, the chief of the RAK traffic section, said six out of the more than 1,000 accidents in the emirate last year were caused by unrestrained animals. According to Ras al Khaimah's traffic and licensing department, it is the only emirate that reported accidents caused by livestock. Last month two men were killed on Showka Road in the southern part of the emirate when they swerved to avoid a donkey.

Killing a camel can bring large fines, as the animals have the legal right of way.