It would have been his first day in class XII at Bal Bharti Public School on Monday. But his life was cut short when a silver Mercedes, which eyewitnesses say was speeding at 100 kmph - ran over him. He was returning home on his mother’s scooter after dropping a friend.
Atul would have turned 17 on April 18.
“He did not have a driving license. Since it was only local travel, we allowed him to ride the scooter,” Atul’s sister Ruchi told HT. Rishi Pal, DCP (Outer district), said Atul was not wearing a helmet either. Despite eyewitness accounts, he refused to say whether it was a Mercedes car that had hit Atul and said it was a matter of investigation.
The family of five, that includes Atul’s two elder sisters, was attending a religious programme at an ashram in nearby Sundar Vihar. Atul’s father is an employee of Delhi Development Authority and his mother is a teacher.
The driver of the Mercedes, who is yet to be identified, fled from the spot after the accident around 10.30 pm on Sunday night, eyewitnesses said. The vehicle was yet to be traced.
NK Saini, an eyewitness to the accident, said he and some other people stopped another vehicle passing by and shifted Atul to a nearby hospital that night where he was declared brought dead.
“I think there were two persons in the car. The way it was being driven suggested the man behind the wheel was drunk. It was at a speed in excess of 100 km/hr,” said Saini.
He said the car was on the left side of the road when it suddenly moved to the right, hitting Atul’s scooter. “As he tried to escape, he hit an auto and a truck,” alleged Saini.
Police quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the victim was flung several feet in the air by the impact of collision and he landed on the head. The scooter was dragged by the car for around 40-50 metres, leaving it in a heap of mangled metal and plastic.
A police official said they were trying to identify the vehicle “from footage before the accident captured in a CCTV camera installed at a shop in a nearby market”.
Sunday’s incident is the latest among several fatal accidents involving high-end vehicles in the national capital region (NCR).
In January, an overspeeding BMW had rammed into an Uber cab, killing its driver in South Delhi’s Munirka area.
The same month, four people including a woman techie were killed in Ghaziabad when a speeding Audi rammed head on into an autorickshaw they were travelling in.
In the Ghaziabad incident, police faced allegations of trying to protect the vehicle’s owner, a doctor. It also sparked public anger over alleged police inaction because of the car owner’s affluent background.