An American professor at a university in the United Arab Emirates was one of two people killed when their bicycles were hit by a car in the city of Sharjah, north of Dubai.

The American University of Sharjah said Tuesday that associate professor of history Richard Gassan and a friend were struck near campus the previous evening and died instantly.

Gassan received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and joined the university in Sharjah in 2005. AUS Interim Provost Kevin Mitchell said in a statement that Gassan will be remembered for his dedication to students and a wry sense of humor.

The state-owned Abu Dhabi newspaper The National identified the second victim as 72-year-old South African national Desmond Daniel.