Witnesses say that driver was racing motorcyclist at more than 100mph

A club of junior cyclists in Saudi Arabia suffered a devastating loss on Monday after a driver crashed into a group of riders, killing four and injuring a further six.

A group of 17 riders from the Yarmouk Cycling Club were training on a road just south of the town of Abu Arish in the south-west of the country, when they were involved in a crash with the driver of a pick-up truck on a single carriageway road.

Four of the riders were pronounced dead at the site of the crash, with a further six riders being seriously injured and being taken to a nearby hospital.

Saudi television channel Al Arabiya reports that witnesses told police that the driver had been racing a motorcyclist at more than 100mph when they crashed head-on into the group, then attempting to flee the scene before crashing into another vehicle.

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Club president Abu Shuraha said that he and coach Tawfiq Salah took precautions to protect their riders from dangerous drivers, driving a vehicle behind the group while they are out training, but could do little to prevent this head-on collision.

Two other club members were also reportedly injured after being involved in a separate incident with a truck while riding to visit their clubmates in hospital.

A spokesperson for the local police department, Captain Nayef Abdulrahman Al-Hakmi, said that the driver’s excessive speed was likely to have been a contributing factor in the crash, but that the cycling club should also have obtained a permit to ride on the road in a group.

However Shuraha said that he was not aware of other cycling clubs requiring a permit to train in groups on the road, and that the club had ridden on the road on a daily basis in the past without incident.