A 44-year-old auto driver lost his life after he was run over by a car opposite the Punjab National Bank on Link Road in Santacruz (West) on Monday around 11.45 pm.
Mangled remains of the car and the auto involved in the mishap
Hiralal Verma was standing next to his auto rickshaw when he was knocked down by a Toyota Fortuner driven by Adil Duberia (22), who claimed the accident occurred while he was trying to avoid a collision with another auto. A resident of Carter Road, Duberia had left for Juhu around 11.30 pm.
The spot where the accident occurred on Monday night
“While on my way, I saw an auto rickshaw speeding in from the opposite direction of the Sarasvati Lane. To alert its driver, I used dipper lights,” he said in his statement. Duberia claimed that the auto rickshaw driver failed to respond to his signal and took a sharp right at the last minute. In order to prevent a mishap, Duberia too swirled his car in the opposite direction and rammed into Verma, killing him on the spot. He claimed that the turn was so sudden that it jammed the system, disallowing him to bypass Verma. Duberia, too, sustained minor injuries.
A cobbler who witnessed the accident said, “Verma was waiting for passengers and was standing next to his vehicle. He was a good man and didn’t deserve such a tragic end.” After the accident, Duberia called his friend for help and the duo rushed Verma to Bhabha Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. Duberia then went and surrendered himself at the Santacruz police station. He is in judicial custody. Senior Inspector Arun Chauhan from Santacruz police station said, “We have arrested him under sections 279 and 304 (a) of the IPC. He wasn’t drunk at the time of the mishap and all his papers are in place.”