A 16-year-old girl was killed and a 17-year-old boy was severely injured when the latter lost control of their speeding vehicle in south Delhi's Vasant Vihar on Thursday night, bringing the focus back on the dangers of minors taking the wheel.
According to the police, the two teens, who were family friends, snuck out of their respective houses in Vasant Vihar's Air India colony and took the car, a Maruti Zen owned by the boy's father, for a spin. The boy reportedly lost control of the vehicle near the area's C-block and rammed a tree at 12:23am.
"The first car swerved onto the footpath. The boy tried to apply the brakes and get back on the road but hit a tree, putting the co-passenger in the direct line of impact," a local security guard said.
According to locals, the impact was such that shards of glass from the car were found on the first floor of a house nearby.
While the girl was declared brought dead to the hospital, the boy suffered injuries to his head but was said to be stable.
Though the police registered a case of negligence causing death and rash driving at the Vasant Vihar police station, the law does not permit the prosecution of underage drivers. Either the minor's guardians or the owner of the vehicle faces a challan of `500 and a possible jail term of three months. Till March 15 this year, around 315 such guardians have been prosecuted.
According to the city's traffic police, around 102 minors were involved in road accidents in 2014.
In Thursday accident, the car was reportedly travelling at over 100kmph. "One of the security guards made the PCR call (after the accident) and within minutes the two were rushed to the hospital. The car was travelling at a speed of more than 100 kmph," said Sugandh, an eyewitness.
"The girl, sustained several injuries to her head and limbs and was declared brought dead by doctors. The boy also sustained injuries to his head but is stated to be stable," said Prem Nath DCP (South).
The girl was a Class 9 student of a government school. "Her father works in the loading branch of Air India. The boy's father is in the engineering department," said a police official.