A FUNDRAISER for a man who died during a weekend of drowning tragedies is reaching close to its £2500 target.

Muhammed Asim Riaz, a 41-year-old private hire driver from Glasgow, drowned after jumping into the water with Edina Olahova, 29, whilst attempting to save their children who got into difficulty.

Mr Riaz’s son was pulled from the water by a Scottish man. However, Rana Haris Ali, nine, and the two adults couldn’t be saved.

Colleagues plan to pay tribute to Muhammed Asim Riaz, by taking part in a “Driver’s Salute” by lining up along a section of the funeral procession route in Glasgow later this week.

The Glasgow Branch of the ADCU has released a statement with a message of condolence following the death of union member, Muhammad Asim Riaz.

“It is with a profound sense of sadness that we have learned of the death of our fellow union member, Muhammad Asim Riaz, who tragically passed away while trying to save the lives of his friend's two children after they fell into distress in water over the weekend.  Heart-wrenchingly, one of the children, Rana Haris Ali, also passed away alongside Muhammad, as did the child's mother, Edina Olahova.

“Muhammad was known, personally, by several members of our branch committee and by many members of our union branch. We are all in a state of shock and grief, and our hearts are heavy today.  Life is the most fragile of things and to see that fragility so close to home is jarring. 

“Our thoughts are with the Riaz, Ali and Olahova families at this time and we offer our deepest and most heart-felt condolences.  We are, truly, so sorry for your loss.

“The branch will be organising a crowdfund for the family and we are also asking our union members to attend the funeral of Muhammad later this week and form a procession of private hire vehicles to take part in a 'Driver's Salute', en-masse, as brothers-in-arms, to pay our final respects to our late friend and colleague.”

Eddie Grice, Glasgow Chair, added: “This news has shook us pretty hard.  It's such a tragedy.  We offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families and offer our hand out in support.  Anything we can do for them, we are here.

"In times like this, the private hire driver community pulls together. Our union is organising a fundraiser in memory of Muhammed and we are also going to do a Driver's Salute where we will line the road on the approach to the cemetery as a way to pay our respects.  

"This is what unity is all about.  Pulling together and holding each other up in times of need and supporting each other's families when the worst happens. We would do this for any of our members as well as drivers not in the union alike.”

As well as a ‘drivers’ salute, the ADCU has organised a fundraising effort for the family of Muhammed which has currently raised £500 away from current target of £2,500. 

After a disastrous weekend, it was revealed last night that 34-year-old Aman Sharma was the seventh fatality from drowning.

Mr Sharma was pulled from the water at Loch Lubnaig in Stirling on Sunday after facing difficulty whilst swimming. 

The takeaway chef was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow where he sadly passed away on Tuesday.

His friend, Kawaldeep Singh, told the Daily Record he plans to help send Aman’s body home to his parents in India.

Kawaldeep said: "I could not save his life but now I hope I can send his body back to his family and loved ones.

“He was a friend but he was more like family to me. He was my brother. I’m badly in shock and I’m missing him so much.”

The fundraiser currently stands at just over £10,000.

Loch Lomond bosses say a series of urgent meetings are now being held to reflect on the tragedies and discuss potential further actions to improve water safety.

Advice on water safety can be found here.