A 20-year-old man was killed and a dozen others were injured when an inebriated driver allegedly lost control of his speeding sports utility vehicle (SUV) and drove into a pavement in north Delhi’s Kashmere Gate on Sunday night.
All the victims were homeless people sleeping on the pavement located some metres from Nigam Bodh Ghat.
The accident took place around 10.30 pm near Yamuna Bazar bus stop on Ring Road.
The errant driver, identified as Rishi Kumar, was driving his Mahindra Quanto SUV towards West Vinod Nagar in east Delhi from Timarpur. Police said the driver’s sister-in-law was also in the vehicle.
The accused attempted to flee but were caught by locals who handed him over to the police.
Rishi reportedly runs a property business and provides his vehicle on rent. He told the police that he lost control of his vehicle while trying to save a motorcyclist on the road.
Eyewitnesses said dozens of homeless people were sleeping on the pavement between two lanes of a road on Ring Road. The vehicle was coming from the Kashmere Gate side.
“All of a sudden, it took a sharp right turn and within no time climbed onto the nearly two-feet high pavement.
The vehicle ran over some people sleeping on the pavement before coming to a stop after hitting a broken portion. Four people were trapped under the car when it stopped. We toppled the vehicle to rescue them,” said Mohan, a ragpicker and one of the survivors.
After the accident, the woman emerged from the vehicle and stood by the road side while the errant driver tried to escape, Mohan said.
Another eyewitness, Sanjay, said most people sleeping by the roadside woke up immediately and caught the driver. Sanjay received minor injuries on his leg.
Ramanand, a eyewitness, said he was on the other side of the road and awake at the time of the accident. “The driver had one hand on the steering and another outside the vehicle’s window,” he recounted.
The victims were taken to Sushruta Trauma Centre, Bara Hindu Rao Hospital and Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital.
Twenty-year-old Iqraj, a homelsss man, succumbed to his injuries at the trauma centre on Monday morning.
Incidentally, there are five temporary shelter homes for homeless people located near the accident spot.