High speeds and alcohol were allegedly involved in a car crash in Dubai on Sunday that killed a Canadian boxer, a Boston Marathon Bombing survivor, and two others, says Salah Bu Farousha, the head of Dubai Traffic Public Prosecution, who declined to name the four people involved in the crash.
On Wednesday morning, Bu Farousha said that officials were still investigating the deadly crash that took place in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lake Towers neighborhood early Sunday morning, although it had reportedly already been determined that speed and alcohol were the main causes for the crash that tragically killed everyone involved. While Bu Farousha declined to name the four people killed in the crash, other officials in Dubai spoke with the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, according to CBC News, and confirmed the identities of those killed in the crash as 24-year-old Canadian boxer Cody Nixon; his cousin, 27-year-old James Portuondo; Boston Marathon Bombing survivor Victoria McGrath; and her Northeastern University roommate, Priscilla Perez Torres.
According to witnesses, the crash involved a yellow Ferrari 458 Spider that jumped a curb and hit a telephone pole, essentially “splitting the car in half.” Just minutes prior to the crash, security footage caught the victims at a nearby hotel getting into the two-seater car. McGrath and Torres shared the passenger seat, Nixon sitting in the middle of the passenger and driver’s seats, and Portuondo driving the sports car. Bu Farousha said they the driver had definitely been speeding but wouldn’t say how fast he believed the Ferrari to be travelling at the time of its crash in the posh Dubai neighbourhood. He did state, however, that Dubai officials were investigating a monitor installed in the car to make their final determination of approximate speed at the time of the crash.
“From my initial investigation, they had lost control of the car. The road is curved. They were driving at a high speed in a 40-kph (25-mph) zone. The speed did not match at all the speed limit.”
Bu Farousha also said that all four victims had consumed alcohol prior to setting out on their fatal drive. According to the Globe and Mail, like most hotels throughout the world, alcohol is served freely at all hotels in Dubai — a city that has become a giant tourist attraction and is home to many luxury malls as well as the world’s tallest building. However, driving a car after consuming any amount of alcohol at all is illegal.
Sunday morning before the crash, Nixon posted a picture on his Instagram account, posing with the yellow Ferrari with the caption, “Just landed into Dubai picked up the Ferrari! Don’t worry I won’t speed.”
In a statement issued by the parents of Victoria McGrath following her death, the Boston Marathon Bombing survivor, who received “severe shrapnel injuries” to her left leg when the first bomb exploded, is being remembered as an empathetic woman with a big heart. She spent her time since recovering from her injuries helping disabled children and veterans.
“In recent years, she had spent her time helping homecoming American Veterans who were recovering from trauma of their own. In a society that is abundant in support for troops but often lacks true understanding, Victoria’s voice was one that contained rare empathy, which comforted and motivated many people.”
Canadian boxer Cody Nixon was remembered in a Facebook post written by the Motor City Boxing Club in Oshawa, Ontario, who stated simply that Nixon “lost his life while vacationing overseas.”
Although officials have reportedly ascertained that both speed and alcohol were involved in the Dubai car crash that killed four young people, it has not yet been revealed whether the blood-alcohol level of the driver was high enough to cause impairment to his driving or whether it was simply a matter of high speeds on an unfamiliar, winding road that tragically took the lives of these four people.
[Photo by Kamran Jebreili/AP]