In an ironic twist to the recent drunken driving accidents across the city in the past two months where lives of innocent people were at stake, two accident cases registered with the Santa Cruz police within 24 hours clearly indicated the role of errant cyclists behind these mishaps.
Both incidents took place on the busy Linking Road on two consecutive nights just a few meters away from the police station. While in the first incident the cyclist had to lose his life due to his own fault, in the second, the driver of the vehicle suffered severe injuries while attempting to save the cyclist from being killed.
According to Dilip Gaikwad, senior police inspector, Santa Cruz police station, in the wee hours of Friday a Lower Parel-based call centre pick up and drop vehicle ran over a cyclist in front of the Arya Samaj Hall.
The driver of the Tata Indica car identified as Nitin Yashwant Unawane (20), a resident of Andheri was on his way to drop an employee. At around 4:30 am, while they were passing from Linking Road, a drunken cyclist named Chandraya Malla (33), a daily wage-worker took a sudden turn.
The move of was so swift that the car rammed the cycle from behind with full speed. The impact of the collision was so powerful that the cycle along with Malla got flung into the air for about 15 meters.
When Malla landed on the ground he was severe injured the car driver, put Malla, a native of Hydrabad in his car and took him to the Cooper Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Saturday morning.
“The Linking Road in the night is quite traffic-free and so, vehicles travel in full speed. In this case however Malla, who was coming from Bandra was drunk and did not see the car approaching towards him. We have arrested Unawane for rash and negligent driving (sections 279 and 304 (A) of the IPC).
He was presented before the court and subsequently released on bail when eyewitnesses testified that the cyclist was at fault. The victim’s body was claimed by his relatives and has been taken to Hydrabad,” said Gaikwad.
The second incident occurred on Friday night just a few meters away from Arya Samaj Hall in front of the St. Lawrence School. 21-year-old Zoheb Jaffar rammed his car into the school bus parked on the road side injuring himself while trying to save a cyclist.
At 1:30 am, Jaffar, who had gone to Haji Ali and was on his way back home when a cyclist coming from the front all of a sudden took a sudden left turn at Shastri Nagar (Santa Cruz). Jaffar saw the cyclist and to save him suddenly turned the steering wheel of his white Wagon R.
Since the vehicle was in full speed Jaffar lost control and rammed into the Yellow school bus from behind. He hit his head on the dashboard and was rushed to the hospital in a semi conscious state. He has been admitted to Nanavati hospital and is out of danger.
The police have registered an ‘incidence’ case in the matter since there was no accident had taken place.
Jaffar was not in a position to talk but a relative of Jaffar told HT on Saturday, “Zoheb is a very intelligent and responsible boy and could have done anything out of carelessness. He was working for a call centre and was planning to go abroad for further studies. At present he is out of danger and has no complications but still in the hospital,” said Reshma, Jaffar’s aunt.