New Delhi: A speeding dumper truck ploughed into at least three auto-rickshaws and a scooter near India Gate in the early hours of Tuesday, killing a man and his eight-year-old daughter out for an ice-cream treat and injuring two, police said.
The horror unfolded shortly after midnight when the truck driver lost control of his vehicle and ran over vehicles and pedestrians before crossing the divider and landing in the lawns of the Central Delhi boulevard.
Kewal Diwan (42) and his daughter Manya, who left their home in east Delhi's Geeta Colony on a scooter around 9.30 pm on Monday, were killed, police said.
The impact of the accident was so intense that the vehicles were reduced to a mangled heap of metal.
The driver, identified as Raman (24), a resident of Badarpur, was arrested from the spot and the vehicle seized, they said.
"We received information around 12.20 am regarding the accident near India Gate on Man Singh Road. A team rushed to the spot and found that one dumper had entered Rajpath lawns (south side) after hitting several vehicles and crossing over the footpath," said a senior police officer.
Eye-witnesses told police the dumper first hit the divider after which it hit the autos and pedestrians standing near the footpath.
A man aged around 42 years was also found lying near the dumper. He was immediately shifted to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital where he was declared brought dead. He was later identified as Kewal Diwan.
Manya was also declared brought dead to the hospital.
It was a family outing gone tragically wrong.
Kewal, his wife Poonam and their two daughters, eight-year-old Manya and not- quite-three Myra -- went to India Gate on a two-wheeler for ice-cream and maybe more. They were readying to return home when the accident happened
"Kewal was in the driver's seat and Manya was standing in front. Poonam was just about to sit on the pillion seat with Myra when the dumper came speeding towards them. Kewal pushed his wife and daughter Myra away, but could save his and Manya's lives," said Lavleen, Poonam's sister.
Kewal worked in the stock exchange, said another family member.
While little remained of the auto-rickshaws, a two-wheeler was crushed under the truck, police said.
"Three injured persons were taken to hospital. Of them, one girl was declared brought dead," an official said.
He added that the driver, Raman, received a fracture in his right hand.
"He has been sent to the LNJP hospital, where he is undergoing treatment and will be tested for alcohol. A case under relevant sections of the law has been registered in the case," the official said.
Those injured have been identified as Deepak Kumar (27), an auto-rickshaw driver and a resident of Mata Sundari Road, and Ram Singh (24), a labourer who was on the footpath and is a resident of Unnao in UP.
"The two are undergoing treatment," the officer added.
The India Gate lawns -- with Rashtrapati Bhavan at one end -- is a place where hundreds of Delhiites go for a drive, for a walk or simply to sit on the grass. It's a favourite leisure spot with ice-cream vendors, popcorn sellers and the like....