SUV mows down sleeping man

SUV mows down sleeping man

Four others sustain injuries; woman driver identified

A recklessly driven high-end SUV ran over five construction workers sleeping on the pavement, killing one of them at HRBR Layout, Kalyan Nagar, here on Monday morning.

The mangled vehicle

The SUV passengers, a man and a woman in their early 20s, abandoned the SUV and fled the scene. The woman, later identified as Mahi, was at the wheel, the police said, citing a victim’s complaint.

This early dawn drive claimed the life of 22-year-old construction worker, Nagaraj, of Kirubgere village, Deodurg taluk of Raichur district. He had just turned a father, his wife delivering a baby boy back in Raichur and he was all ready to leave on Monday night to be with them when tragedy struck.

Four others injured in the accident were his relatives. Among them were Rangappa, 19, L Gauda, 23, Shivayogi, 23, trio from Kirubgere and Hanumanth, 22, from Shivangi village in Deodurga taluk. Their injuries were minor. After outpatient treatment at Bowring Hospital, they were discharged, the police said.

The five labourers were among a group of seven who had come to Bangalore two years ago to eke out a living. They had shifted to HRBR Layout where the construction of a house was on recently. They were staying in a makeshift shed at a construction site.

Every night, the workers used to sleep on the cemented floor linking the gate of a three-storeyed commercial building to the pavement. The building itself is adjacent to the house under-construction, their work place, on 3rd main road, 3rd block, HRBR Layout.

On Sunday night, five of them slept in front of the gates, while two others inside a shed.
Around 12.30 a.m., a white-coloured Toyota Fortuner SUV (bearing number KA 03 MQ 1369) zoomed in at top speed from T Junction on 5th cross, 3rd block.

It was apparent that the driver had lost control when she/he took a right turn to enter the 3rd main road.

The SUV ran onto the pavement and dragged the sleeping construction workers towards the gates.

The victim

The victim, Nagaraj, was crushed between the front part of the vehicle and the gates, while the others managed to escape with minor injuries. Hearing the commotion and noise, neighbours gathered.

“I saw a woman getting down from the driver’s seat. Within seconds, a man also got down. Soon, he went into the car and drove it backwards, while she directed. Seeing people come in, the duo fled,” one of the victims Hanumanth told Deccan Herald.

The police later identified the woman as Mahi, a resident of Babusabpalya, who was at the wheel when the accident took place. She is at large, said a senior police officer.

On being informed, the police rushed to the spot and shifted a grievously injured Nagaraj to Bowring Hospital where he died around 3 pm.

Realtor’s car

Banasawadi traffic police inspector Meenakshi said the SUV belonged to Raghu Patel, a realtor in Kothanur. He reportedly bought the vehicle on February 25.

Raghu’s cousin Ravi met him on Sunday night and took out the SUV. Ravi and Mahi, it was established during preliminary investigations, had taken the SUV to a birthday party and were returning home when the incident took place.

The police are searching for the couple.  Eyewitnesses claimed they appeared heavily inebriated, police inspector Meenakshi said.

The police booked the driver whom they presumed to be a woman under sections 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way) 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 304 A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC and section  187 of the Motor Vehicle Act.