Monday, 30th October 2017

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‘Speeding’ car hits guardrail, knocks down sisters

Police said both were wearing helmets

By Snehal Sengupta in Calcutta
  • Published 26.11.19, 2:07 AM
  • Updated 26.11.19, 2:07 AM
  • 3 mins read
The spot near Downtown Mall, on Major Arterial Road East-West Extension in New Town, where the Maruti Suzuki Brezza hit the gearless Vespa scooter on Sunday night. The car had hit the guardrail on the left before hitting the two-wheeler. The guardrail lost one of its legs on impact. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

Two sisters riding home on a scooter after watching a Sunday-night movie in New Town were injured after being hit by a car that had apparently lost control after ramming into a guardrail.

Witnesses said Nisha Kumari Giri, 29, who was driving the gearless Vespa scooter, was dragged with the two-wheeler at least 20 feet after being hit by the Maruti Suzuki Brezza on Major Arterial Road East-West Extension.

Younger sister Neha, 27, who was on the pillion, was flung into the air. She landed head first on the road.

Neha is on ventilator at the Institute of Neurosciences Kolkata, at Mullickbazar in central Calcutta.

Police said both were wearing helmets.

The women from Bokaro, in Jharkhand, stay at a rented apartment in the Sukhobrishti housing complex in New Town. Nisha works at TCS and Neha for the Aditya Birla Group.

A senior officer of the commissionerate said guardrails — also called crash barriers — had been put up across the township to prevent rash driving. Metro reported earlier this month how guardrails, painted in blue and white, were more of a traffic hazard as those are barely visible from a distance.

Tuesday night’s accident happened minutes after the sisters had left Downtown Mall in Uniworld City, in New Town’s Action Area III, after watching a movie.

“They were riding home to Sukhobrishti when the accident occurred,” said an officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate. “The car was travelling in the same direction. It crashed into a guardrail on the road, lost control and hit the sisters’ scooter before speeding away.”

Saikat Das, who was driving home with his wife in their car and witnessed the accident, said the Brezza had overtaken their vehicle at a high speed before crashing into the guardrail and then the scooter. One of the legs of the guardrail was broken on impact.

Das immediately pulled over and rushed to the women’s rescue.

“One of the women was lying in a pool of blood and was barely conscious. The one who was driving the scooter suffered many cuts and was in pain. Some men who were sitting in front of a tea stall near the accident site chased the car on bikes,” said Das, a resident of New Town Action Area III.

He and a few others took the sisters to Ohio Hospital in New Town, from where they were referred to Charnock Hospital in Chinar Park, Rajarhat.

The scooter after the accident
The scooter after the accident Telegraph picture

An official at Charnock Hospital said while Nisha had suffered multiple soft tissue injuries in hands and legs, Neha had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury with multiple contusions and haemorrhage.

Nisha was discharged on Monday. Family members got Neha admitted to the Institute of Neuro Sciences. An official of the Mullickbazar hospital said the woman was on ventilator in the intensive therapy unit.

The sisters’ uncle, Anupam Giri, said he had learnt about the accident at night and reached the city with their parents and other members of the family on Monday morning.

The police said the witnesses who were chasing the Brezza on bikes found it parked by the roadside around 3km from the accident spot, a stone’s throw from Sukhobrishti.

The bikers found the driver, later identified as Kaushik Bera, sitting unconscious at the wheel and called the police.

A team from New Town police station rushed to the site and took Bera to Salt Lake Sub-divisional Hospital, from where he was shifted to the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

“Bera will be charged with rash and negligent driving,” an officer of the police station said.

This was the fourth accident in New Town this month.

Three teenagers died after the Honda City in which they were travelling with two others hit a median divider, rammed into a pillar of the Airport-Garia Metro corridor and crashed into a pavement on November 12.

Last Tuesday, a two-year-old boy walking home with his mother was fatally hit by an e-rickshaw, whose ignition was turned on by the driver’s five-year-old daughter who was alone in the vehicle.

The same day a Honda City had turned turtle at the Akankha crossing while the driver tried to avoid hitting a cow that had sauntered in front of it.

The three men in the car walked out of the crash.