Two kindergarten children and their parents’ cheated death after a speeding car crashed into them while they were walking on the footpath near Saint Teresa School, Santacruz (W) yesterday.
The kids — Menahajul Sheikh and Ritika Jana —, both aged four, were on their way to Rose Manor School, which is in the vicinity, when the incident occurred. According to the police, the driver was tutoring his friend on basics of driving when he lost control of the car, then veered sharply and struck the four pedestrians, before hitting a wall. “I was standing near my gate, when I saw the car coming at a great speed and hitting them,” said Suryapal Mishra, watchman at Cosmos Apartments, a building close to the school.
Eyewitnesses said that the vehicle nudged the heads of both the children, and bumped in to the parents who received minor injuries to their hands and legs. The driver of the Honda city has been identified as Sunil Kumar Gupta and, according to cops, he was trying to flee the spot after the accident. “The driver tried to flee but was caught by the people and was handed over to the police,” said Abdul Sheikh, Menahajul’s father.
Soon after the incident, other parents who were dropping their kids to school rushed to the aid of the injured mothers. Ritika and her mother were rushed to VN Desai hospital, while Menahajul went ahead and attended school, as he sustained no injuries. Later in the evening Menahajul’s father took his son to VN Desai hospital to ensure that his kid hadn’t sustained any internal injuries. Meanwhile, Ritika was shifted to Asha Parekh hospital for further check-ups in the evening.
According to the police, 32-year-old driver Gupta had met his friend from his native village during his rest time when the owner of the car was at work. After meeting him at 10.30 am, he started giving driving lessons to his pal, a rickshaw driver by profession who was seated in the passenger seat.
“We are trying to find out whom the car belonged to, and the driver Gupta was not drunk at the time of the accident,” said Arun Chavan, senior inspector with Santacruz police station.
“The accused Gupta is charged under section 279 and 337 of the IPC. He will be produced in court and we are further investigating the case,” said Sudhir Kudalkar, police inspector at Santacruz police station.
After receiving news of the accident, Rose Manor High School’s administrator and managing trustee, Maryrose Nazareth stated that she will call a meeting appealing to parents to join the bus service provided by the school in order to avoid such accidents in future.