NEW DELHI: A high-speed bike stunt killed a 15-year-old boy and injured his neighbour in northeast Delhi’s Shastri Park on Sunday morning, an accident that underscores rising fatalities from underage driving.
Mohammad Umar Sheikh was riding a ~1.5-lakh Duke, manufactured by Austrian bike major KTM AG, that his father had gifted him. He was trying to perform wheelies on a public road with 19-year-old neighbour Mohammad Anas as the pillion passenger.
Sheikh was not wearing a helmet and he suffered head injuries that caused fatal internal haemorrhage.
The other teenager too was without a helmet.
Police said the family of the Class 8 student admitted him to a private hospital initially and shifted him to Lok Nayak hospital when his condition deteriorated.
They informed police about the incident on Monday as it is mandatory for people to report road accidents when victims are admitted to government-run hospitals.
Police learnt after questioning the family, which lives in the Chauhan Bangar locality in northeast Delhi, that the boy’s businessman-father Babar Khan bought him the bike a fortnight ago.
“The boy was pestering his parents for a racing bike… and stubbornly refused food for three days until his father relented and bought the bike,” an officer said.
Sheikh allegedly sneaked out of home early on Sunday before sehri, the morning meal prior to the day’s fasting during Ramazan, and went for a spin with his older neighbour on his new Duke.
They went towards Kashmere Gate and the accident happened around 4.30am when they were returning home. The boy couldn’t control the bike while trying a stunt.
“We will take action as per law against the boy’s father for allowing his underage son to ride a motorcycle,” said AK Singla, deputy commissioner of police (northeast).
A case was registered on Tuesday and investigation is on.
The government is pushing for stricter road safety rules amid growing calls to make parents accountable after a Class 12 student in north Delhi’s upmarket Civil Lines mowed down a 33-year-old marketing consultant with his father’s Mercedes car in April.
The government backs a proposal to punish parents of child drivers involved in crashes.
“If a minor is involved, it will be presumed that the parents know and willingly allowed or influenced the child,” a road transport ministry official said.
Cases of underage drivers causing fatal crashes are on the rise in India, where a person dies every four minutes in road accidents.
But weak laws and slack enforcement often mean a long wait for justice for the victims and their families.