Sunil Pandey, along with his friends, was walking to Siddhivinayak Temple for a morning puja when tragedy struck opposite Irla petrol pump

In yet another case of hit-and-run, a biker knocked down a 19-year-old in the wee hours of Tuesday at Vile Parle (West). Sunil Pandey, who sustained grievous head injuries, is being treated at Cooper Hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Sunil along with six of his friends had left their Charkop residences at 12 am on Tuesday and were on their way to Siddhivinayak Temple to attend an early morning puja.

Ground zero: The spot opposite Irla petrol pump where the accident

"By 2.30 am we had reached the Irla petrol pump on S V Road, when a biker, who was speeding down the road, hit Sunil on his arm. The motorcycle's handle got stuck in his shirt and knocked him off his feet. He landed on his head and a few stones that were there on the road pierced his skull and Sunil started bleeding profusely.

The biker just fled the spot," said Niraj Pandit (20), one of Sunil's friends and an eyewitness. Sunil was admitted to Cooper Hospital at 3.40 am. "He has lost a lot of blood, but his condition is stable," said Ashish Chauhan, Sunil's roommate and one of the group members. Chauhan informed that Sunil is a native of Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh and had come to Mumbai a month ago in search of a job. He was to return to his hometown next month. Chauhan added that Sunil's family had been informed about the accident.

An officer from Juhu police station said, "We are investigating the case. However, since two letters from the registration number provided to us are missing, it is taking time to trace the bike. There are so many bikes whose registration numbers start with MH 02 and end with 7026. In addition, they could not even identify the bike's make."