10-year-old’s horror bike crash sparks ROP warning

Energy Monday 18/February/2019 21:03 PM
By: Times News Service
10-year-old’s horror bike crash sparks ROP warning

Muscat: The Royal Oman Police (ROP) has asked parents not to allow their children to ride motorcycles and drive off-road vehicles unaccompanied, especially unlicenced ones.
The warning comes just days after a 10-year-old Indian boy suffered severe injuries while driving a beach buggy, almost losing his hand after the vehicle overturned onto him.
Doctors and emergency services personnel were able to save him in time, and in the wake of this accident, his parents have come forward and asked that staff who oversee potentially dangerous activities for children must be trained in first-aid, so that others don’t suffer the same fate as their son.
Imaad Moosa, who studies in Class V at Indian School Muscat, was driving his buggy on a beach in Muscat at around 6.30pm on February 1, when a biker came towards him from the opposite direction without turning on his headlight.
Imaad saw the biker far too late and his buggy suffered a head-on collision, and then turned turtle.
An official at the ROP said, “Parents should not buy unlicenced motorbikes for their children for their safety and for that of others as well. The use of unlicenced motorbikes is contrary to the law. The traffic law defines a motorcycle as a two, three and four-wheeled motor vehicle operated by an internal combustion engine and not licenced by competent authorities for failing to meet safety and durability requirements.”
About the penalty for riding unlicenced motorbikes, he added, “The penalties imposed on unauthorised motorcycle riders will result in the confiscation of the bike for the first time. In case of a repeat offence, the case will be referred to the judiciary authority as per article 49 of the Traffic Law.”
“The accused will be jailed for not more than three months and fined not more that OMR500. Article 15 also prohibits the riding of bikes with a capacity of less than 70CC or the importation of this type of bicycle and three-wheeled vehicles, except with the permission of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in coordination with the ROP,” he further said.
During the accident, which took place on February 1, a portion of the buggy landed on Moosa’s left hand, causing severe bleeding as it ruptured the skin, exposing his bones, tendons and nerves, and bending his bones. Showing great presence of mind, and with the help of compassionate passers-by, he managed to undo his seat belt and crawl out from under the buggy, shouting out to his parents all the while.
Doctors managed to save the 10-year-old, giving him first aid before moving him to a government hospital, where he was quickly operated on and is now recuperating.
“This was a place that was famous for dune bashing, and our son is actually an automotive enthusiast who likes driving,” said his father, Rehan Moosa, while speaking to Times of Oman.
“On that day, I was also sitting with him, and I got down and I asked him to carry on and told him I’d be waiting for him in the parking area.”
“Suddenly, I head this shout, and I heard him scream ‘papa, papa’, and I just ran towards him. He was driving and it was almost dark because it was about 6.30pm,” he added.
“There was another bike, which did not have a headlight and this guy didn’t see him and hit him from the front. Our son’s buggy flipped over, and luckily, it only fell onto his hand. Someone lifted the buggy, and helped him remove his belt, and he then crawled from under the buggy.”
“When I saw him, I actually went crazy, because the scene was terrible,” Rehan recalled. “I started shouting and people weren’t even bothering [to help], because they thought I was a mad person who was shouting. My wife was also screaming and nobody came to help us. They all asked us to go to the clinic, but maybe that was because they didn’t realise the severity of his injuries. But, no one from the management team for the buggy rental tried to call the police or the ambulance.”
Although he was in no state to drive, Rehan managed to get his son to a private hospital, where they gave him first aid, and referred him to a specialist government hospital because they didn’t have the skills to help him.
“The staff at this private hospital were very supportive and they asked the government facility to admit him because normally, they don’t take expats, but the thing was that the government hospital refused to take him until they opened the wound and realised he needed to be admitted,” he recalled. “God put something in their minds that convinced them to help us.”
“I could see his bones and nerves,” added Rehan. “His tendons are saved thanks to God. They were hurt, but they were not damaged. His palm and fingers were swollen, because there is no safety provision by the buggy management people. They just ask you to sign a form, and all of the risk is on you.”
Surgeons at the hospital have put a rod in his arm because his bones have been bent, and they have to straighten it, and it is likely to stay in his arm for a year or so. They have so far refrained from stitches, because they might still perform skin grafting, although they are expecting to not do that, because he is still a child and his wounds will heal faster.
Rehan admitted: “If he were just lying there, I would have not even known of this. I would advise others to not take their children to such dangerous places, unless there is some precaution or first-aid facility available. The staff in that area is not even trained to help or be supportive in these situations.”
“The school vice principal called us and offered support. He passed through a very tough time, especially initially,” he added.
“One suggestion I would make is that the emergency services need to understand English, because they did not understand what we were saying. They need to be well-versed in English, because expats mostly speak English. Praise be to God that the worst is over.”
Times of Oman also spoke to Imaad from his hospital bed, where his doting parents were by his side, as he recalled the painful ordeal.
“It was terrifying, but I had to be strong,” he admitted. “When I saw the other person approaching, I thought I was finished. When he hit me, I just took off my belt and ran. I cannot even begin to say what the look on my parents’ faces was like. What has happened is very bad, so I do not think I will go to these places again, even if these places are safe.”
“I am glad that I was brave enough to come out of that car, I didn’t cry or shed a tear at the time,” revealed Imaad.
“God has given me this bravery. I was quite scared when we went to the hospital, because that was when I saw the wound for myself. I was given anaesthesia for the procedures, but I was terrified that something would happen to my hand.”