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UK Embassy rules out foul play in cyclist

Arab News: UK Embassy rules out foul play in cyclist’s death

By WALAA HAWARI | ARAB NEWS
Published: Feb 28, 2010 11:59 PM Updated: Feb 28, 2010 11:59 PM

RIYADH: Sources at the British Embassy in Riyadh say the death of a British cyclist in a road accident last week is believed to be nothing more than a “tragic accident”.

John Currie, who worked for BAE Systems, was one of four cyclists involved in a collision with a car driven by a Saudi youth on Feb. 25.

According to reports, they were cut off by local youths driving in two cars on a main road on the outskirts of Riyadh.

The Sunday Telegraph in the UK reported that one of the vehicles clipped one of the cyclists, causing him to fall off his bike.

One of the drivers is then alleged to have turned around and driven straight into the cyclists.

Human resources worker Currie, 54, is said to have smashed against the vehicle’s windscreen, later dying from his injuries.

His widow, Pauline, was returning to Britain this weekend.

Currie’s body will be flown home for a funeral service. The couple from Cheshire has two grown-up children.

A BAE spokesman confirmed in a public statement that Currie was one of the company’s employees.

He also said Currie was involved in a road accident last week and Saudi authorities were now investigating the case. He added it would be inappropriate for BAE Systems to comment any further.

BAE Systems employs 4,500 staff in Saudi Arabia, including around 2,000 Britons.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed the death on Saturday, adding that consular assistance was being offered to the family.

He said it would be the Saudi authorities’ responsibility to determine if there was a “guilty party” involved.

Riyadh police spokesperson Maj. Sami Al-Shwaerikh ruled out the involvement of foul play. He confirmed that investigations were still being carried out and the results would be announced soon.