Locals and those who witnessed the drink driving accident at Andheri (East) on Sunday night said that the accused, Lalit Sharma, a 24-year-old MBA student, was driving recklessly and in the wrong lane. They added that after mowing down two people, he was about to run over three others and tried to flee the spot.
One of the eyewitnesses is Kamal Adhikari, 23, who works as the manager at Uncle's Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant in the Vijay Nagar area of Andheri (East), where one of the deceased, Meen Bahadur Chatri, 50, worked as the chef.
After closing the restaurant at around 12.15am on Monday, Adhikari and Chatri began walking to their residences in Sainath Nagar nearby. They were accompanied by Chatri's cousin brother, Himlal Khanal, 45, who was also killed. Khanal worked as kitchen staff at a five star hotel.
"When we reached near the [Vijay Nagar] bridge, I got a phone call and asked them to walk ahead," Adhikari recalled. The bridge is used by pedestrians to cross over as the lane under it is blocked.
Sharma, who was coming from the opposite direction, lost control of the vehicle, swerved and hit the cousin brothers walking along the other lane. "I saw that while Chatri was thrown off the bridge, Khanal's head was stuck in the windshield of his [Sharma's] car and was dragged for about 200 meters," he said.
Adhikari said that two of his friends, Amit and Swapnil, were standing ahead of him at the edge of the bridge. Sharma was about to run into them, but the duo jumped to the side, and the car came speeding towards him.
"He [Sharma] was trying to flee the spot. But to dodge Adhikari, he pulled the handbrake, and we caught him. He first said that he could not understand us as he was drunk, but when he realised what had happened, he said that he had only one beer," said Shahid Shaikh, a 20-year-old resident of the area.
Sumit Bhandari, another 19-year-old resident said, "Even after the accident, we could see him speeding. He would have hit many more people had it been rush hour."