Six-year-old crushed under school bus wheels, driver arrested

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A six-year-old boy was crushed to death under the wheels of a school bus and his mother injured in Kandivali (West) on Wednesday. The victim, Gautam Ravi Naidu, was a student of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel School. The driver of the bus, Jokhamlal Yadav (54), fled the spot but was later arrested from his Malwani home.

Police said Gautam, a Class 1 student, was a resident of Harishchandra Chawl in Daruwala Compound in Malad (West). His mother Lata had gone to pick him up after school got over.

Yadav was trying to take a U-turn after reversing the vehicle at Bhogilal Puraiya Road junction, said an officer. He was aligning the bus when Gautam suddenly appeared before the bus, he added. Yadav lost control of the vehicle and rammed into the boy, who had left his mother's side and went running to cross the road, the officer said.

"Lata tried to stop Gautam but it was too late. As she tried to pull him out, the bus went over her right foot, fracturing it," said Hareshwar Pimple, senior inspector.

Within seconds, a crowd gathered at the spot and rushed the boy and his mother to Bhagwati Hospital, where Gautam was declared dead on arrival and Lata admitted to the ICU, said Pimple.

However, principal of SVP School Sangeeta Srivastava alleged that the bus driver entered a lane where buses are not allowed. "The school got over by 12.20 pm. Gautam's mother picked him up at 12.30 pm. The driver entered the lane where buses and heavy vehicles are not allowed. He rammed the bus into the boy who was trying to cross the road," said Srivastava.

"I received a call from locals informing me about the accident. I rushed to the hospital where I was told that my son is no more," said Ravi, Gautam's father. He works for a private firm.

"The school bus belonged to a private company, Mehta Travels. It had a contract with the SVP School for the last 20 years. Its owner, Jigar Mehta, gave us Yadav's address," said Pimple.

Mehta said Yadav had been a substitute for the company's permanent driver who had gone on leave. "He had been called only for today. As he was experienced, I trusted him," said Mehta.

Police said Yadav had been working with BEST and stayed in BEST colony in Malwani. He will be presented before a court on Thursday.

Accident route

February 29 Four-year-old Tanishka Nautiyal died after she was run over by the school bus after she was dropped home in Vasai

February 13 Three-year-old Tulaja Babban Kapure was run over by a school bus near R N Gandhi School close to Vidyavihar station

February 8 Six-year-old Zahra Shaikh was injured after she came under the wheels of a school bus in Vakola. The driver was allegedly listening to music when the accident took place

January 19 Five students were injured in an accident near the L P Flyover in Nerul when a school bus hit a tempo while taking a U-turn

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