Speed, drinking involved in Dubai crash that killed 4, including 2 Canadians

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- A prosecutor in Dubai says high speed and drinking were involved in a Ferrari crash that killed a Toronto boxer, his cousin, a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and her university roommate.

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Salah Bu Farousha, the head of Dubai Traffic Public Prosecution, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that an investigation continued into the crash early Sunday near Dubai's Jumeirah Lake Towers neighbourhood.

However, he said all those killed in the crash of the two-seat yellow Ferrari had been drinking.

Farousha declined to name those killed. But officials in Dubai, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity identified those killed as Canadian boxer Cody Nixon, 24, and his cousin, James Portuondo, 27. Boston bombing survivor Victoria McGrath and her Northeastern University roommate Priscilla Perez Torres were also identified as victims of the crash.

The crash early Sunday morning near Dubai's Jumeirah Lake Towers neighbourhood saw the yellow, two-seat Ferrari 458 Spider jump a curb and slam into a pole, splitting the sports car in half. Only 10 minutes earlier, surveillance footage at a nearby hotel caught those involved in the crash hopping into the Ferrari, with the two American women sitting in the passenger seat, the Canadian boxer sitting in the middle and the other man driving, Bu Farousha said.

"From my initial investigation, they had lost control of the car," the prosecutor told the AP. "The road is curved. They were driving at a high speed in a 40-km/h zone. The speed did not match at all the speed limit."

Bu Farousha declined to say how fast he believed the car was travelling, though he said investigators were examining a monitor installed in the car to make a final determination.

The prosecutor said all those involved had been drinking. While alcohol is freely served in hotels throughout Dubai, a tourist attraction home to the world's tallest building and luxury malls, driving after consuming any alcohol is illegal.

The Motor City Boxing Club in Oshawa, Ont., posted a tribute to Nixon on its Facebook page on Monday, saying he had died "while vacationing overseas."

It's with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to Cody "C-4" Nixon. Cody lost his life yesterday while vacationing overseas. RIP Cody.

Posted by Motor City Boxing Club on Sunday, March 6, 2016

A photo posted on the Instagram account travelwithcody showed a man posing with a yellow Ferrari and the caption reads: "Just landed into Dubai picked up the Ferrari! Don't worry I won't speed ;)."

McGrath had received severe shrapnel injuries to her left leg from the first of two bombs placed near the Boston Marathon finish line. Three people were killed and more than 260 others were injured in the bombing.

Since the marathon bombings, McGrath had worked with disabled children and veterans, the parents said in a statement issued through Northeastern University.

With files from The Associated Press



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