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Friday, December 3, 2021

Qatar University community grieves after pedestrian killed by car

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With reporting from Reem Alamri

Students at Qatar University are expressing anger and grief following the death of a man who was struck and killed in a parking lot at the school yesterday.

The deceased, who was the father of a QU student and is thought to be in his early 70s, was apparently walking in the carpark when a female faculty member hit him with her car, possibly while reversing.

In a statement sent to the QU community and posted on Twitter, QU President Prof. Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad said:

“I have long dreaded that the day would come when I would have to write this email. It is with great sadness that I inform you of a tragic road accident that resulted in the death of a parent on our campus yesterday.

As we pray for the deceased, wishing his family patience and strength, we must also be reminded that it is the duty of each and every one of us to do what they can to keep our campus a safe environment for everyone. I extend my thanks to the Medical Clinic and our security personnel, the ambulance staff and the police for their prompt response and professionalism.”

According to some community members, the faculty member had not been speeding or violating any road rules.

But the accident has nonetheless struck a chord with many students, who say people should drive more safely on campus.

Under the hashtag #جامعة_قطر, many conveyed their condolences to the deceased’s family, and some called for increased safety measures on campus, such as pedestrian crossings.

On QU’s Facebook page, one student said:

“The problem is everyone is driving like they drive in normal street forgetting that campus street has more pedestrian movement. Also (the) university (is to) blame because it’s building (colleges) away from each other and separated by streets. Finally, الله يرحمه ويصبر اهله.”

However, some students said now was not the time to criticize QU. Speaking to Doha News, a college student studying English said:

“It saddens me that this has happened and I’m very sorry for the man’s family, however, I don’t think it’s appropriate to use this horrible accident to attack the university. It is also not the time to make all those suggestions to improve the roads because it’s insensitive and inappropriate in the family’s time of grief.”

Pedestrian safety

Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable in Qatar, where constant construction, few sidewalks and an abundance of speeding vehicles are common problems. Last year, 80 people, mostly Asian expats, were killed while crossing roads here, and more than 200 were hospitalized with severe injuries.

Paramedics rush to the accident site outside Doha College West Bay.
Paramedics rush to the accident site outside Doha College West Bay.

This latest accident at QU comes days after a child at Doha College – West Bay was struck by a car while crossing the street with her mother. The girl was taken to the hospital, but released shortly afterwards with no injuries.

In a separate incident early this week, two adult pedestrians were struck by a car outside of Newton British School in Al Wabb.

Newton declined to comment about the accident to Doha News, saying it was a police matter. But parents there said that one of the people who was hit is undergoing surgery.

And yesterday, an Egyptian man was apparently killed after being struck by a car on Salwa Road, Gulf Times reports. 

To help reduce pedestrian mortalities in Qatar, the Ministry of Interior offered these tips to residents in August.

And public works authority Ashghal said earlier this year that it had issued QR600 million worth of road safety upgrades, including new pedestrian overpasses, better street signage and construction of additional lanes.

Improving safety in school zones was also listed as a the top priority.

Thoughts?

9 COMMENTS

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Anonymous
Anonymous
7 years ago

Very sad. May the deceased rest in peace

Rapha31
Rapha31
7 years ago

80 killed while crossing the road!!!

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
7 years ago
Reply to  Rapha31

In separate incident

Jaded
Jaded
7 years ago

Thanks for clarifying, I assumed 80 people simultaneously crossed one road and got hit by one massive monster truck

EGC
EGC
7 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

🙂

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago

It is sad but let’s be honest, it happens everywhere. As long as the driver wasn’t breaking any rules then it is just an accident and shouldn’t be used as an excuse to denigrate the university or to start the rant about driving habits in Qatar.

Rapha31
Rapha31
7 years ago

Looks behind the car once, then put the car in reverse, and then step on the gas… oops.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago

The problem with giant SUV’s- really bad blind spots. Even with rear sensors, hitting someone in reverse is very easy to do. Sounds like a tragic accident that could happen to any of us.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago

The speed limit on that road is 40km/hr. I think the cell phone records of both parties should be checked, as the area is very clear and I’m not sure how this could have happened. It should also be noted that an expat teacher saw the accident and immediately administered first aid while waiting far too long for the ambulance.

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