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Ferrari crash kills city chain owner

The mangled remains of the Ferrari California T that crashed on a flyover on National Highway 6 near Salap in Howrah, killing owner Shibaji Roy. An iron rod fixed to the railing came loose on impact and impaled the bonnet of the car. Picture by Subham Jyoti

Calcutta: A convertible Ferrari California T crashed into the parapet of a flyover on National Highway 6 near Salap in Howrah, killing a Calcutta businessman who was at the wheel.

Shibaji Roy, 42, was returning to the city after a Sunday morning spin with family members and friends in a convoy of high-end cars. Roy, resident of Rashbehari Avenue and a director with M.L. Roy & Co, a sanitation product chain, died while being taken to hospital.

Aashna Surana, 17, daughter of Roy's friend Adarsh, was travelling with him in the two-seater. She suffered multiple fractures and is on ventilation at CMRI Hospital.

Local people who saw the motorcade pass but did not witness the crash said the cars were speeding but were not racing one another.

Roy's friends said the group had since 2011 been going out on pleasure rides in high-end cars on Sunday mornings.

Sunday's seven-car convoy included a Lamborghini, two Porsches, two Ferraris and two BMWs. Friends and families of the car owners had gathered at Alipore at 6am and started for the Café Coffee Day outlet on the Durgapur Expressway at Govindpur, 55km away.

The accident occurred at 9.40am on the Pakuria flyover, around 15km from Calcutta, while the group was returning.

The carriageway narrows a little at the mouth of the flyover on NH6 or Bombay Road. One of the drivers in the convoy, who was behind Roy, said a truck had suddenly changed lanes and moved to the right without switching on its indicator lights.

"Had the truck not switched lanes, Shibaji would not have had any trouble. But with the truck moving to the right, he was forced to swerve further right and crashed into the parapet," he said.

Aashna was rushed to hospital immediately but Roy's legs were stuck in the mangled metal for the next 40 minutes as no gas-cutters were available.

The public vehicles department's records in Calcutta showed the Ferrari registered in the name of Roop Shringar Sarees. Roy's friends said he had bought the car from company director Suresh Tolani six months ago but the formalities of changing the owner's name, which requires paperwork and a visit to the regional transport office by both parties together, were pending.

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