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‘Failure to take necessary precautions behind Shmeisani accident’

By Rana Husseini - Jan 14,2015 - Last updated at Jan 14,2015

AMMAN — Failure to take the necessary precautions during severe weather conditions was the cause of an accident that claimed the lives of two men last Friday, a senior traffic official said on Wednesday.

“Our traffic investigation department officers indicated that the driver of the vehicle which slammed into other cars on the Shmeisani bridge failed to take the required safety procedures during the snowstorm,” Traffic Investigation Department Director Lt. Col. Basem Kharabsheh said.

A video that went viral on social media showed several vehicles, including a police patrol car, stuck at the bridge at around 5:20pm last Friday.

The footage shows two men getting out of their vehicles, which were involved in an accident, to check on the damage, and seconds later an SUV slams into their vehicles and other cars on the bridge, including the police car. 

The impact killed 23-year-old Mohammad Abu Khadijah, a fast-food chain employee who was delivering an order from the restaurant’s Shmeisani branch to a nearby hospital, and 59-year-old Yousef Fashho, who was returning home from work, according to relatives.

The SUV driver was taken to hospital suffering from injuries.

“The usual procedure in such cases is for the driver involved in a fatal crash to be transferred to prison once his situation stabilises,” Kharabsheh explained.

Also on Wednesday, Social Security Corporation (SSC) Director General Nadia Rawabdeh said the corporation is following with “concern” the issue of Abu Khadijah’s death. 

In a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the SSC said its records showed that Abu Khadijah’s SSC subscription fees have not been paid since September 1, 2014. 

The SSC contacted the restaurant’s management to check if he had still been working there. The company noted he returned to work on December 1, 2014 and remained employed until the day he died. 

Rawabdeh said the corporation will allocate a pension for Abu Khadijah’s heirs after confirming his employment details and that he had been subscribed to the SSC.

The Public Security Department (PSD) had warned motorists to stay off the roads starting at 5pm last Friday because of icy conditions that would make it extremely dangerous to drive.

Earlier this week, the traffic official told The Jordan Times that there were 541 road collisions on Friday evening and police had to issue tickets to motorists who defied the PSD’s warning and drove on the icy streets causing harm to others and themselves.

“We had to issue citations to motorists who did not respond to our warnings because some were driving in a reckless manner while others abandoned their vehicles that broke down in the middle of the street and prevented rescue vehicles from reaching people in need,” Kharabsheh said at the time.

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