Desert safari driver denied injuring passengers

A Pakistani defendant was charged with endangering the safety of a Chinese tourist during a desert safari and causing her to suffer a fracture in her spine.

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DUBAI // A desert safari driver caused a back injury to one of his passengers when his 4x4 jumped over a small sand dune and landed violently, a court was told.

H M, 37, from Pakistan, picked up four Chinese female tourists in his company’s Toyota Land Cruiser on February 25 last year. After the safari one of the women, E W, started to complain about back pain.

The other women helped E W out of the car and she was driven by H M to hospital where she was found to be suffering from a fracture to one of the discs in her spine. She underwent surgery and was hospitalised.

E W later left the country to continue her treatment in China but authorised one of her compatriots to lodge a complaint against the driver.

At the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours, H M denied endangering the safety of E W and causing her injury.

In her statement, E W said she booked the Dh275 safari through a tourism company. “We were told that such trips should not be taken by old people or people who suffer from heart problems.

“Two other women were injured as well, I saw them getting treatment for head injuries,” she noted, adding the company did not call for an ambulance.

In his testimony, H M said he was driving the 4x4 as usual but it did not land violently on a dune during the 30-minute safari. “After the drive was finished, one of the women said she couldn’t get out of the car due to pain so I took her to Rashid hospital, that’s what happened,” said H M.

A verdict is expected to be given on February 19.

salamir@thenational.ae