Mother's safety plea as Dubai driver jailed for causing boy's death

Golrokh Salehi was walking with her two sons on a service road when a car driving in the wrong direction hit one of her boys

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A Dubai mother issued an emotional plea for drivers to take care on the road after her young son was killed by a speeding motorist travelling the in wrong direction on a one-way street.

Golrokh Salehi was crossing a service road in Umm Suqeim on December 26 with sons Kian Moborak, 5, and Ashkan, 4, to reach her car in a parking area when her eldest child was struck by a speeding Land Cruiser that was travelling against the flow of traffic.

Kian, who was walking a short distance ahead of his mother and brother, was knocked to the ground.

Ms Salehi, 40, an Iranian-American, said the driver got out of his vehicle clutching a mobile phone, only to ask her why she did not have hold of her son.

Kian Ryan Mobarak, 5, with his mother Golrokh Salehi, father Alireza Mobarak, and younger brother Ashkan Ethan Mobarak in their last picture together as a family, taken just days before his tragic death. Courtesy: Golrokh Salehi    
Kian Ryan Mobarak, 5, with his mother Golrokh Salehi, father Alireza Mobarak, and younger brother Ashkan Ethan Mobarak in their last picture together as a family, taken just days before his tragic death. Courtesy: Golrokh Salehi    

Kian was rushed to Saudi German Hospital and placed in intensive care with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain but lost his fight for life on December 30.

“I started screaming, even my younger son was screaming," said Ms Salehi, recalling the aftermath of the accident.

“Service roads are usually not busy, but I think because of my shock and screams people from nearby shops started coming out.

“And the driver came out of the car holding his mobile phone in his left hand, and shouted at me ‘why I did not hold my son?’.

“I was telling him to call the ambulance, and I don’t know how long it took, then two ambulances and two police cars arrived. I kept asking the medics if he was alive.”

The driver, 22, was found guilty of manslaughter at Dubai Criminal Court on January 13.

Sentenced to a month in jail, he was also ordered to pay a Dh15,000 fine and Dh200,000 in blood money to the family. His licence was suspended.

Dubai Public Prosecution appealed against the verdict and pushed for a stronger sentence to be imposed.

The case will next go through the appeals court, where several judges will examine it.

Ms Salehi is keen to work with transport authorities to step up road safety awareness for younger drivers.

“We have to be mindful of how we drive on the roads,” she said.

"Our negligence may cost someone else's life. We should not forget that saving five minutes of our time ... we take someone else's life and put a family in disaster."

Mrs Salehi said she and Kian's father Alireza Mobarak, 41, a flight dispatcher, plan to use the blood money to start a fund under her late son's name, to help families who cannot afford medical care for their loved ones.

“I have been living in the UAE for many years, and I have read and seen stories of families losing their kids to different diseases,” she said.

“We were in a good facility with good doctors and medicine so as a family we did not have any concerns about the expenses; my son was on life support but at least we had to capacity to be covered [by insurance].

“Whereas many families here have only the basic insurance plan and may not have the same privilege to treat their children."