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Navi Mumbai: Cabbie who ran over cyclist held

Updated on: 01 March,2024 07:05 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faisal Tandel |

The taxi driver allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel, cops investigating if he was drunk

Navi Mumbai: Cabbie who ran over cyclist held

Avtar Khushal Singh Saini the deceased

The NRI police in Navi Mumbai have arrested a taxi driver for reckless driving and negligence, following the death of a cyclist in an accident. The arrested taxi driver reportedly admitted to falling asleep while driving, subsequently losing control of the vehicle and colliding with the cyclist, who later succumbed to injuries.

The deceased was identified as Avtar Singh Saini, a 68-year-old retired software engineer known for his significant contributions to the manufacturing of the Intel Pentium processor. Saini was part of a group of cyclists on a ride from Chembur to Kharghar. The incident occurred near Akshar signal on Palm Beach Road around 5.50 am on Wednesday. Saini, leading the group, was struck by a speeding taxi, whose driver fled.

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Locals and traffic police, arriving at the scene, transported Saini to the nearby Vashi Municipal Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead. “Saini had sustained injuries to his head, back, and other body parts,” said a police officer. The NRI police registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and of the Motor Vehicle Act. The taxi was traced, and the driver, Rishikesh Khade, aged 23, was arrested.

“The driver claimed to have driven the vehicle all night. He said he momentarily fell asleep in the morning, inadvertently losing control and colliding with the cyclist headed towards Belapur. The non-bailable offence led to the issuance of a notice to the driver, and investigations into the matter are ongoing to find out if he was under the influence,” said the police officer. The family received the deceased’s body. Known for his love of cycling, Avtar Saini regularly rode his bicycle in the morning, wearing safety gear.

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