Drunk driver who killed 6 of a Saudi family executed

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One of the victims Abdulmalik Al-Dihaim

Okaz/Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH
— A drunk Saudi motorist who killed six members of a Saudi family four years ago in Riyadh’s Al-Yasmeen district was executed on Tuesday.

Mohammad Al-Qahtani, who was driving under the influence of alcohol, crashed into another vehicle killing Abdulmalik Al-Dihaim, sisters Hissah Al-Dihaim, Nada Al-Dihaim, Nuha Al-Dihaim, Abeer Al-Dihaim and their niece Norah Al-Dihaim. The incident also resulted in injuries to Al-Jowhara Al-Dihaim. They are all Saudis.

Abdulmalik Al-Dihaim, who was studying in Britain, was visiting his homeland to perform pilgrimage in October of 2013.

After performing pilgrimage, he stayed with his family for two hours and took his sisters and two nieces on a ride in his new Audi.

The victim was driving by Anas Bin Malik roundabout at 1:45 a.m. when the 41-year-old drunk driver crashed into a pavement then hit the victim’s Audi causing it to topple over and kill five people on the spot.

Abeer was 19 years old, Nada and Nuha were twins aged 21 years and Hissah was 25 years old working at a private school. Their niece Norah was only three years of age. She sustained a critical brain injury which led to her death days after the accident. The youngest of the victims was 2-year-old Al-Jowhara who suffered multiple fractures.

When paramedics arrived at the site of the accident, they found that the driver, who caused the crash, was heavily drunk. Forensic report stated that Al-Qahtani was driving at high speed.

Abdulrahman Al-Majed, a relative of the victims, said Al-Qahtani was drunk and was driving at 180 to 200 km per hour.

This is not an accident, this is murder, he said.

Al-Qahtani was remorseful

Al-Qahtani had told Okaz reporters after the fatal crash four years ago that he did not deserve to live.

He said he was diagnosed with AIDS when he was 26 years of age which led his family and the people around him to disown and cut contacts with him. He said he was homeless for three months before moving to a medical center in Riyadh to get treated. His health grew worse. He began to lose sleep and become an insomniac.

He said he wanted to go back to his family but couldn’t get in contact with them as they kept changing houses.

He began drinking to forget his pain and problems. He slowly began to volunteer at AIDS organizations to help people going through a similar condition.

As his life was becoming more stable, he wanted to get married and settle down. He was able to get a job and started working. He saved some money and rented an apartment. He was coupled with a woman who also had AIDS. He met her through the government’s program to marry AIDS victims safely. He began to plan his life with her, when the night of the accident happened.

He said all he remembers was his car crashing into another car, then he lost consciousness. He said he woke up in hospital hearing that five people had died in the accident and an infant had died days later.

“I felt like my life went down the drains all over again. I stopped eating and taking my medicines for three days. All my efforts to build a better life for myself were completely ruined,” said Al-Qahtani.


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