Cycling club receives backlash after accident kills four

February 21, 2018
The scene of the horrific accident in Jazan’s Abu Areesh governorate. — Courtesy: Al Arabiya English
The scene of the horrific accident in Jazan’s Abu Areesh governorate. — Courtesy: Al Arabiya English

By Mohammad Al-Kadmi and Fuad Saleh

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JAZAN — The parents of the cyclists who were run over by a speeding driver blamed their club for putting their children in harm’s way by not following safety regulations.

In a horrific accident, four members of Al-Yarmouk Cycling Club were killed and six were seriously injured when a car hit them during their regular cycling excursion in Abu Areesh governorate on Monday evening.

“It was a regular day just like any other day for us. A group of up to 30 cyclists gather everyday at a point and ride our cycles in a side lane because there are no lanes specified for us,” said Mahmoud Ibrahim, 15, who was injured in his pelvis.

Fuad Saleh, 16, said he lost his consciousness when he was hit by the car and woke up hours later in the hospital.

Tragedy struck the cycling club members twice that day. Hearing about the accident, four members of the club got into a car to go to the hospital. But they were hit by a truck and suffered serious injuries. They were also rushed to a hospital.

Waleed Al-Sayed, who has been a bicyclist for over 25 years, said he is heartbroken by the loss of some of his friends in the accident.

Khalid Hazazi, a relative of one of the victims, blamed Al-Yarmouk Club for not taking safety measures.

“Many of the victims are my students in school. There was no ambulance around and there were no traffic police to organize the traffic,” said Hazazi.

Ahmad Abdullah said his 15-year-old son fractured his foot in the accident.

“I won’t let my son go to the club anymore. They do not follow the basic safety regulations. The members of that club represent the Kingdom regionally. The organizers should have been more aware of the dangers they are putting our sons in,” said Abdullah.

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