Sunday, September 17, 2006

Crushed.. but we're ok


This is a Fiat Kobelco wheel loader, commonly simply known as a "shaiwal" here in the gulf. It weighs around 15,000kg. In no sane world should such a massive piece of machinery be allowed to drive on the road, but here in Oman, they are driven from site to site all the time. This particular mofo in the picture above, is owned by the company doing the road expansions by the Sarooj crossover, construction of which is has been causing a massive bottleneck of traffic for the past three weeks.

Friday afternoon, I was driving with my son and the maid from Madinat Qaboos to Qurm for Friday lunch with my inlaws, and this guy was driving in front of me. Despite its slow speed which was causing a long line of cars to tail-gate behind me, I was having fun with my son who was strapped in his car seat in the back telling him to look at this massive machine in front of us. So we drive out of the MQ service road and on towards the traffic lights by Masjid Asma and then take the turn towards the highway, all the time with this wheel loader ahead of us. Then he signals that he wants to turn and we slow down behind him. But he misses his turn and yet continues to slow down and so do we till we're at a complete stop right there on the road.

And then the idiot started to reverse.

It took a second to register, "what?... no way!". But yes, the 15 ton monster was reversing. And it was clear he didn't have enough space to reverse to get to his turn. But he kept coming. So I started honking, and then all the cars behind me started to honk as well. But he kept coming. It was like he couldn't hear us at all. It was like slow motion. What did I do when a massive piece of heavy equipment as big as house was driving right toward my car? I froze, that's what I did. I didn't think to grab my son and run out of the car. I didn't think of possible escape routes. I just froze. Next thing he was over my car's bumper, then on top of the hood. The windshield cracked and my son burst out crying. Just when he was about to drove through it, he finally stopped and drove forward to get off my car. I looked at the back to calm my son. "It's ok.. it's all right.. look we're all fine, al7amd lilah.." Tried to call the police emergency line and you wouldn't believe it, 4 times I got hung up without anyone saying a word till I finally got through. I went out to look for the driver and it turned out to be a guy who didn't speak a word of Arabic, English or Hindi. Screaming at him did no good. And quite amazingly, I didn't do anything to him. I was just so happy that we're ok. So I called home and asked for someone to come take Faisal and his nanny while I stayed and waited for the police.


20060915 -3

The car itself wouldn't move, of course. The radiator has been crushed. The engine itself has been dismounted from its place and pushed to the back. No idea if the gear box has been effected. There's extensive body damage to the entire front. Even the sun roof got pushed open a bit and jammed in its place. I spent all morning yesterday at the police inspection yard because here in Oman you can't fix your car after an accident except after the police inspect it. They determine what the insurance has to pay for fixing and which parts should be fixed and which should be replaced. Then I spent all morning today at the police station waiting to get an accident report, which I didn't get because, get this: they were understaffed because there was a VIP guest who was going to pass so most of them were on convoy duty. Which means I have to spend another morning tomorrow with the police and the insurance company. And that takes care of the last day of my short holiday.

Someone told me that I should consider talking with a lawyer to see whether there's grounds to sue the company over their driver's negligence, the damage done to my car, and the endagerement of our safety. I don't know if you can sue over circumstances like these here in Oman. If anyone knows, please drop me a line.


Keefieboy said...

Yikes, what a scary experience! I can't see the pics 'cos Flickr is blocked here in the UAE. But surely the truck owners must pay for the damage!

Rampurple said...

what the hell?!
el hamdillah your ok!
what did the driver at least say???

Kthekuwaiti said...

Hamdallah you and your son are safe .. thats completely insane!
I would have pulled the guy out of the drivers seat and beat him senseless. I think you should sue the company and contact the Omani government so that they are aware of the idiots they have hired. This is completely unaccepable on any front.

Jewaira said...

Glad that you came out of it unharmed. Sue the company - people should press for safety standards

nibaq said...

Hamdallah you guys are safe.

I was seeing the picturse on your Flickr and thought "oh some crazy car wreck". Once you posted it on your blog I could't believe it was you!

What an idiot, I can't believe this guy just decided to reverse. I am sure he must a sheep herder before he came to Oman. Thinking that jsut by backing up all you other cars will too.

The employer for that driver should be resposible for this. They have insurance and are liable for it. Same as If you did the same thing with your car.

Mike said...

thank god you're ok muscati...

Kay said...

WTF! I had to read that twice. Hamdullah Fasial and you are ok! That must have been terrible to experience with him in the car with you. What a retard! Reversing in the middle of the road and continuing to reverse after everyone was honking? Check with a lawyer and sue them. They cant get away with this.

Charles Malik said...

You really should sue. That's ridiculous.

Hamdallah, you're without injury.

Sleepless In Muscat said...

Al 7amdallah you're alright after all that, you and AlFaisal.

I say sue them for every penny they've got. You have the police report to prove it and you have the car for evidence and thank God that's all that's happened.

I'm going to enquire for you and be in touch soon, inshallah.

Meanwhile, keep safe!

moryarti said...

1000 el 7amdella 3al el salameh wo matshoof shar enshallah.. I honestly don't think I could've controlled myself if that happened to me...

Bollybitch said...

go ahead and sue the company Muscati. you shouldn't keep quiet just bcos things don't get done that easily here in Oman. he put ur little baby in danger, and that's just unforgivable

-hamsa- said...

7amd lilah 3la a'salamah for both of you and your son!...that must have been a very scary experience! ..i know many people freeze in certain circumstances!... but what amazes me is the way you handled the situation with that moron driver!...that freak could have killed you or maybe caused you severe wounds!...if it was another man, he would have beaten the hell out of him!......especially that he had risked your child's safety too! were too kind but you should sue the company!..but knowing that we are in Oman i am not sure that you will get anything out of them other then the insurance costs!...

And hey a sisterly notion give sadaqa (in case you haven’t done already)..for your and your kid’s safety..:)

Lym said...

Yes you can sue. However, I don't know if they're going to be keen to handle your case if insurance is going to cover all the costs of the accident unless Insurance denies to pay the costs, then you've a solid case.

You're better off checking with a lawyer in Oman. It's no good I tell what would happen if that happened in Australia.

I could recommend law firms, if you're interested. A lot give free consultations to check whether you got a case or not. So I don't see why you don't give it a shot.

sensation said...

Ok I have to admit that reading the story was more like I was watching a movie! WTF was he thinking!

Well I am glad that you , your son and the nany are all okay! Thanks to Allah :)

Please sue the company! I will pray that you would win the case! Those ediots need to be taught a lesson!

Noors said...

OMG!! When I read your post, I thought, bloody hell how can that idiot driver just REVERSE in the middle of the road! Who's the idiot who gave him a license in the first place!

And yeah, it's amazing how calm you were at handling the situation. Someone else would've punched the driver!

Anyway 7amdellah 3al salama for all of you, and inshallah everything will sort out smoothly.

OceanDream said...

I just want to thank everyone for their kind words regarding the safety of my husband and son.

I'm still shaking just writing this and imagining the scene.. Its a miracle he stopped when he finally did.

I was out of the country at the time. Which means that moron of a driver gets to live. I swear if something had happened to either one of my boys I honestly believe I would have killed him with my bare hands.

If Mux wasn't in a state of shock I'm sure he would have beaten him into a pulp.

To have so much work in a residential area you should provide alternative routes for the peopel living in or visiting those areas.. Non are provided. And these monster trucks should not be driving on the same roads as us either.

Nontheless, alhamdullilah..We are all jus glad they are fine.

Mystique said...

7amdillah 3ala salamtak and ur son's as well. hope the little one is ok ..

ColOman said...

Happy birthday buddy, hope they give you a new car :)

A Yahya said...

Wow, what an incredible story. We cant see the pix from here in the UAE coz flickr is blocked, but alhumdilla all is ok.

btw ...make as much noise as you can on this issue and sue the f***ers. This is not only your car, but your life and the life of your child at risk there.

My friends daughter was knocked off the road in her Mondeo by one of those big vehicals a couple months back, and the guy who done it didnt even notice and continued to drive on.

Shil said...

Wow, that's some close call. When u first posted on OF, I thought it was just something small. This is way over crazy. Alhamdulillah, you're all ok. What was the driver thinking?? Didn't he say a word?

Arabian Prince said...

الحمدلله على سلامتك و سلامة فصول يا بو فيصل و الخادمة كذلك وما تشوفوا شر انشاءالله :)
(better late than never :s)
I'm glad everyone's safe and out of it with not even a scratch (الحمدلله)!
Having said that, I definitely don't think you are to be blamed at all because you froze in your seat like that. What happened was something hard for anyone to grasp.

I strongly suggest that you contemplate suing this company due to all the time that you'll need to dedicate to this case, and to see if it's really worth all the time and trouble.
Besides that... I reckon you should teach those sanzab**ches a lesson, and make them realise that ما دايما تسلم الجرة ;)

Jassim said...

! رمضان كريم

A. Woman in black said...

First and foremost, Alhamduliallah that you were all ok. How scary.

I just can't imagine how he didnt realize he was backing up over the top of your car ! I bet he wasnt even licensed to be driving that thing.

I would definately sue, if nothing just to draw some attention to hopefully get some stricter safety regulations in place.

Ramadhan Mubarak and I am glad you are all safe and sound.

Chulupu said...

damnn. Alhamdulliah you and the boy are okay.

Arabian Princess said...

alf salama 3aleek wu 3ala faisal inshallah ..

you should sue!! at least the company would take extra care and would give those drivers saftey courses before allowing to drive those trucks!!

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