A 30-year-old businessman from Walkeshwar, Sushil Kothari, allegedly drunk, smashed his Honda Accord into a scooter on Marine Drive at 1.30 am on Wednesday, killing the pillion rider on the spot and seriously injuring the biker.
That did not stop Kothari, who, chased by police vans, continued to speed for another kilometre towards Malabar Hill, before finally crashing into four parked cars. Kothari, who runs a construction business, is now in police custody and has been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Preliminary reports from the breath analyser show that Kothari's alcohol level was at least 16 times higher than the permissible limit, which is 30 mg per 100 ml of blood (That's two 30 ml pegs of whisky or a 500 ml bottle of beer). "His alcohol level was 499 mg per 100 ml," said Z.M. Gharal, senior police inspector of Marine Drive police station. Both the Marine Drive and Malabar Hill police stations have registered charges against Kothari.
The incident took place at 1.30 am when Nagpada residents Haji Zulfikar Mohammed Qureshi (48) and Abdul Rehman Shaikh (52) were riding Shaikh's scooter after offering namaaz. Kothari is believed to have hit the scooter from behind.
Qureshi, who was riding pillion, died on the spot. He is this year's ninth drink-driving victim. Shaikh is in hospital with multiple fractures. "Our patrol saw the accident and reported it to the control room with the car number," said Gharal. The incident has taken place three years after the traffic police kick-started their anti-drink driving campaign and made 52,374 arrests.