Mumbai: Woman learning to drive from husband crushes two in Navy Nagar

Updated: Dec 15, 2016, 11:12 IST | Sailee Dhayalkar and Anurag Kamble |

An army man and his wife, who was taking driving lessons from him, have been arrested for ramming their car into another officer's two children and crushing them to death

The car ran over the cycles and crushed the kids against a tree trunk
The car ran over the cycles and crushed the kids against a tree trunk

An army man and his wife, who was taking driving lessons from him, have been arrested for ramming their car into another officer's two children and crushing them to death.

The kids were riding their bicycles in their society in Navy Nagar, where the woman was practising driving. She had very little knowledge of driving and did not even have a learner's licence.

Five days after buying a new car, Santoshkumar Rai gives a driving lesson to his wife Sangeeta in their society
Five days after buying a new car, Santoshkumar Rai gives a driving lesson to his wife Sangeeta in their society

Lance Naik Santoshkumar Rai (36) had just bought a car five days ago, and his wife Sangeeta (34) kept asking him to teach her how to drive. He finally gave in, and on Sunday afternoon, around 2.15 pm, they began driving in their society, Suvidha complex in Navy Nagar.

She panicked
Sangeeta was just a novice and did not even have a learner's licence. She was at the wheel when she saw two children riding their bicycles ahead of the car. The two boys, Akshansh Raviprasad Dyani (13) and Abhay Raviprasad Dyani (7), were the sons of another army officer.

She panics when she spots two kids riding their bicycles ahead of the car
She panics when she spots two kids riding their bicycles ahead of the car

"When she saw the children, she panicked, and instead of using the brake, she pressed on the accelerator and rammed into the children. The accelerating car knocked both the children off their cycles and rammed them straight into a tree trunk, immediately crushing them to death," said an officer from the Cuffe Parade police station.

Soon after the accident, a large crowd gathered around the spot, which drew the attention of fellow Lance Naik Ravindra Jadhav, the complainant in the case.

Also Read: Mumbai: Lady driver hits cop near police station, speeds away

Sangeeta tries to apply the brakes but hits the accelerator instead, ramming the car into the kids
Sangeeta tries to apply the brakes but hits the accelerator instead, ramming the car into the kids

In his statement to the police, Jadhav said, "As it was Sunday, I had the day off and had left in the morning for some work. When I was returning home, I saw a crowd gathering and, on a closer look, I saw the two children who had been crushed by the car."

One of the boys was rushed to INS Ashwini Hospital by Jadhav, while the other was taken by the accused husband. However, the children were declared dead within half an hour. The Cuffe Parade police were alerted about the incident and they arrested Sangeeta and her husband Santoshkumar.

The kids are knocked behind and crushed between the car and a tree trunk
The kids are knocked behind and crushed between the car and a tree trunk

The police said the boys' father is an Army officer who is posted in Assam, while they lived at Suvidha complex with their mother and a third sibling. "A witness to the incident told us that just sometime back, all three kids were riding their cycles. The middle son, who is 10 years old, had left just before the incident took place," said a police officer.

He added, "The father has not yet been told about the children's death; he has been informed that something is wrong and that he should return from his posting in Assam. The family has decided to keep the bodies in the mortuary till he arrives. The mother is in shock and has been crying constantly. She is not in any state to talk, but family members requested that we add non-bailable sections to the case as they lost two of their kids."

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Santoshkumar and a witness rush the kids to hospital, but both boys succumb to their injuries. Illustration/Uday Mohite
Santoshkumar and a witness rush the kids to hospital, but both boys succumb to their injuries. Illustration/Uday Mohite

Out on bail
The accused couple were arrested in the evening and were charged under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 279 (Rash driving or riding on a public way) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. They were presented before the Esplanade Magistrate court yesterday and were at first sent to judicial custody before they were granted bail for R15,000 each.

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