A businessman returning home from a pub crashed his luxury car into three stationary autorickshaws in Santacruz (West) in the wee hours yesterday, leaving an auto driver severely injured.
The businessman, Vishesh Anil Shah (30), was with a female friend when the accident happened on Link Road at 2.25 am, following which both occupants of the car were assaulted by angry locals. While Shah sped away in his car to escape the beating, his friend ran to a building and hid there for two hours.
The police said Shah, who was on his way to his residence in Vile Parle from a pub in Bandra, was speeding.
Autorickshaw driver Rajesh Ramchandra Yadav was severely injured and rushed to hospital by some locals. The other autorickshaw drivers, who suffered minor injuries, claimed Shah was driving under the influence of alcohol.
Shah, who later surrendered before the police, was sent for a medical examination. “Shah’s blood samples have been taken and sent for tests,” Police Inspector Sudhir Kudalkar of the Santacruz police station said. “After the reports come in, it will come to light whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol.”
Shah was booked for rash and negligent driving and released on a bail of Rs 5,000.
The police said Shah lost control over his Volkswagen Jetta near the Hero Honda showroom on Link Road and rammed three autos parked by the roadside. The impact of the collision caused an auto to turn turtle, injuring the drivers who were asleep inside the three-wheeler.
An officer from the Santacruz police station said the angry locals began assaulting Shah and his friend after the accident. “To save herself, Shah’s friend ran up to a nearby building and hid herself,” a police inspector from the Santacruz police station said. Senior Police Inspector Arun Chavan of Santacruz police station said when they were informed about Shah’s female companion a search was launched for her. “We set out to look for Shah’s female friend and she was found hiding in a building after two hours,” Chavan said.
Police Inspector Kudalkar said that the woman was identified as Nimisha Sharma and that she was allowed to go after her statement had been recorded.
Yadav, the injured auto driver, said the accident happened without warning when he was asleep and there was no time for evasive action. “I was sleeping in the rickshaw when some vehicle hit the rear of my auto, and I fell down and suffered injuries,” he said. “It happened suddenly.”