Calcutta, July 19: An eight-year-old boy was crushed to death under the wheels of a Maruti Omni, which was being driven by a person without a licence on a busy road in south Calcutta.
Gaurav, the only child of Asish Banerjee, was walking to school, clutching his father’s hand, at 7.30 am when he was felled by the car driven by Prabir Roy who was trying to get away after hitting several people.
Roy, 40, first hit a rickshaw puller while trying to avoid a pothole on Banerjee Para Road at Thakurpukur.
As the rickshaw puller fell, he took a sharp left turn and hit a scooterist, throwing Jhantu Sarkar and his eight-year-old son Akash off balance.
With his driver sitting next to him, Roy tried to veer his vehicle out of trouble, but hit another rickshaw, injuring seven-year-old Sayak Narayan and his father Sujit Narayan Sur.
“After hitting so many persons, the car did not stop and tried to flee, with the driver driving like a maniac,” said Rajesh Tiwari, a witness.
It was then that the car struck Gaurav, yards away from the gates of his school.
“Something hit us from behind and I could see Gaurav flung high in the air. I clutched my head in pain and lost consciousness. Now I know Gaurav died on the spot,” Asish later said from his hospital bed, barely able to speak.
Having hit Gaurav, and realising that he would kill or injure more people if he tried to drive away, Roy brought the car to a halt.
Gaurav was rushed to MR Bangur Hospital where he was declared dead.
Angry crowds then smashed the car. Roy and his driver were handed over to the police. After failing to produce any documents, Roy admitted to the police that he did not have a licence, but had been driving nonetheless.
“Roy has confessed that he was learning to drive and did not have any papers. We are now investigating how he managed to drive without a licence,” said S.N. Gupta, the district police superintendent.
From questioning the accused and speaking to witnesses, the police learnt that Roy had asked his driver, who could produce a licence, to step aside and taken his place.
Jawed Shamim, DC (traffic), admitted that the police frequently came across offenders driving without a licence.