The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trailer tramples boy as father’s fear comes true

Calcutta, Feb. 9: Ashok Sarkar had quit his job to start a business so he could ferry his only son to school and keep him from harm’s way on the city’s roads.

A speeding trailer today smashed into his scooter from behind on Strand Road, killing son Arkaprabha who was riding pillion to school.

The 14-year-old Hindu School student and Prakash Sau, 37, — also run over on Strand Road by a bus — added to the rising tally of road deaths in the city — 56 since January 1. Sixteen of them were killed in the first nine days of this month.

“Arkaprabha was going to school from his Dasnagar (Howrah) residence when the accident took place,” joint commissioner of police (traffic) Banibrata Basu said.

His father and sister, also riding pillion squeezed between him and Ashok, survived. “All three were flung on the road but Ashok and his daughter escaped unhurt,” Basu said.

Local people, shopowners and pedestrians rushed them to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital. Doctors battled for 30 minutes to save Arkaprabha, who succumbed to injuries.

“The boy had suffered severe injuries to his backbone. One of the veins was completely damaged and this ultimately led to his death,” a doctor at the hospital said.

Ashok, who was too distraught to talk, late this evening told police his best efforts could not protect his son from harm.

He said he was an employee of a reputed non-banking financial company but had quit the job for his son.

“He told me he never allowed his son to travel to school either in a schoolbus or a van,” Jorabagan police station officer-in-charge Dulal Chakraborty said.

“His fear was that his son could be run over on his way to school. That is why he resigned and started a catering business. From the day Arkaprabha was admitted to Hindu School, he used to take him there and bring him back,” the officer added.

All three were wearing helmets, which saved them from head injuries, the police said.

“The nature of the incident suggests that rash driving by the trailer’s driver was responsible for the boy’s death. The driver has been arrested and the vehicle impounded,” Basu said.

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