Sunny Gupta, one of the survivors of Monday’s mishap, admitted to RIMS in Ranchi. Picture by Prashant Mitra
A tenth grader of DAV Gandhi Nagar died and his two friends suffered serious injuries when the schoolboy, speeding on his bike with the duo riding pillion, lost control and crashed into a road divider early Monday morning, barely a stone’s throw from Raj Bhavan in Ranchi.
Around 6.30am, Class X student Gaurav Kumar, alias Bittu (16), was speeding at 70kmph near Abhinandan Hall on the stretch that leads to the SSP’s residence in Morabadi.
With him on the bike were his older friends, SS Memorial College intermediate student Neeraj Kumar (19) and music shop owner Sunny Gupta (20).
None among the trio, all residents of Upper Bazar, wore helmets, in a classic case of underage driving that flouted all safety norms.
Gaurav, being a minor, did not have a licence either. The son of a businessman Kushal Kumar, he paid for the speed thrills with his life, being declared brought dead at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) with head injuries.
Sunny, right side of his face bleeding heavily, suffered serious injuries in the head, back and stomach and was admitted to the RIMS neurology ward. Neeraj hurt his hands and legs.
When The Telegraph spoke to Neeraj, who got off comparatively lightly in the mishap, at the RIMS emergency ward, the boy was still unaware that his friend Gaurav was dead.
“Like everyday, we were going for our early morning exercise at Morabadi (grounds). Suddenly, the bike Gaurav was driving lost control and hit the roadside divider. We all fell off the bike. I don’t know what happened next as I lost my senses,” said Neeraj, whose father Dilip Rajak runs a dry cleaning shop in Upper Bazar.
Sunny’s uncle Amit Kumar, who was at RIMS, said they had come to know of the accident from a neighbour. Gaurav’s father Kushal Kumar could not be reached.
An eyewitness said that the road was empty. “It is shocking that a young life was lost. But it was the result of his callous driving. He was speeding, did not wear a helmet and carried two persons. Maintaining balance is tough when you combine all the factors,” he said.
Underage bikers without helmets or licences are a common sight on Ranchi’s roads, with fatal accidents taking place at Khel Gaon, Doranda, AG Colony, among other places.
Monday’s mishap occurred at one of the city’s most posh areas. Gaurav and his friends got away with their morning triple-riding thrills for so long because police checking does not happen so early.
Surprisingly, till around 5pm when the report was filed, none of the police stations at Bariatu, Lalpur (Morabadi) or Kotwali (Upper Bazar area) had any information on the mishap.
Are indulgent parents more to blame for such bike mishaps?