A drunk driver of a fly ash-laden lorry lost control of his vehicle while speeding down Taratala Road and rammed into a small roadside house, killing Gopal Sau, 35, and his wife Manju, 28, at 1.30 am on Wednesday. Their two sons, Jiten, 7, and Sanjay, 12, are fighting for their lives at Vidyasagar Hospital, in Behala.
Taratala’s residents held a sit-in on the road for two hours on Wednesday morning after the accident. The demonstrators left only after senior police officers went to the spot and pacified them.
The driver who had escaped, leaving the vehicle behind. was arrested late on Wednesday, according to deputy commissioner of police, headquarters, Sivaji Ghosh.
Police said Gopal, an employee of a private company, lived in the makeshift two-room mud house for the past three years.
“Gopal and Manju were sleeping on a cot and were crushed by the front wheels of the vehicle. The two children, sleeping in an adjoining room, suffered serious injuries when a portion of the house collapsed on them,’’ said deputy commissioner of police, port, H.P. Singh.
Neighbours woke up on hearing frantic cries for help and rushed to the family’s rescue.
They said there were no police vehicles on the spot to check rash and drunken driving at night. There have been several instances in the past of vehicles ploughing into houses in the area but the authorities have not taken any punitive action, complained Suman Sau, who lives in the area.
In another accident, nurse Asima Roy, proceeding for night duty at a south Calcutta hospital, was run over by a private bus at the Hazra four-point crossing on Tuesday night. The driver fled with the vehicle.
This accident, too, was the outcome of rash and drunken driving, admitted traffic policemen in Lalbazar.