Ferrari crashes into flyover rail in Kolkata, businessman dies
The scion of a prominent sanitary ware chain in the city died an excruciatingly painful death inside a luxury car worth Rs 3.13 crore near Domjur in Howrah on NH-6, around 22km from the city, on Sunday morning while returning from a weekend ritual that involved taking friends and family on long drives in their high-end sports cars.
Forty-three-year-old Shibaji Roy, director of M. L. Roy & Co. Sanitations Pvt Ltd (one the oldest sanitation and drainage solutions company in Bengal), who was driving a Ferrari California T (WB 02 AL 0808) — belonging to a friend — allegedly took a sharp right after a truck in front suddenly slowed down, witnesses said.
The Ferrari rammed the guardrails of the Pakuria flyover, and crashed into an iron rail of the bridge that pierced the engine and hit Shibaji on his chest even as the air bag was deployed. He died on the spot after an hour, waiting to be brought out of the car. He was pronounced dead at Calcutta Medical Research Institute in the afternoon.
Shibaji was part of a seven-car motorcade that had started from Kolkata on Sunday morning for a long drive along NH-6 and were returning home — after having coffee at a popular outlet at Gurap, off the highway — when the accident happened around 9.30am.
Seventeen-year-old Aashna Surana, daughter of Shibaji’s friend and another owner-driver of the motorcade, who was in the same car, was admitted to CMRI with serious injuries. Shibaji’s son, 17-year-old Shreyan, had a lucky escape; he was beside his dad till he decided to get out so that his friend, Aashna, could get a ride in the Ferrari.
Shibaji, his friends said, was alive for about an hour and kept on crying out for help. “Once, I heard him saying: ‘I can’t breathe’,” Parveen Agarwal, part of the group of friends, said. Cops, friends and locals finally had to prise the car open with the help of a crane to get Shibaji out in the absence of proper equipment to cut through the vehicle.
Police officials said they were working on leads to determine the sequence of events that led to the accident. “But no one remembers the truck’s licence plate number and we may have a problem tracing it in the absence of CCTVs in the vicinity,” said an officer of Domjur police station.
The group of seven motorists — part of the “Club GT” — left the city with their family members in seven cars; a Mercedes Benz S Class (SLC 43 AMG), a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Ferrari 488 Spider, a BMW i8, a Porsche Boxster, a Volkswagen Polo GTI and the Ferrari California T Shibaji was driving.
“Shibaji owns a Jaguar F Type but on Sunday he was driving my Ferrari as he was planning to buy it. He was test-driving it for a few days. Shibaji had started the drive with his son Shreyan, but on our way back, our friend Adarsh Suarana’s daughter Aashna hopped into the Ferrari. Adarsh was driving the BMW i8 and was just ahead of Shibaji,” said Suresh Tolani, owner of a popular sari store at Sudder Street and a super-car enthusiast.
Tolani said he received a call from the rider of the Porsche, who was behind Shibaji. “He called me to say that Shibaji had met with an accident. I immediately made a U-turn and came to the accident spot,” said Tolani.
Police said the Ferrari was travelling at a speed of around 120kmph when the accident happened. “We are probing all angles, including if the rider was over-speeding, or had to veer right because of a truck in front,” said Gaurav Sharma, SP (Rural), Howrah.
A resident of Triangular Park, Shibaji is survived by his son, wife, mother and a younger brother. “His father died two and a half years ago leaving the entire business on Shibaji and his brother’s shoulders. We will keep his body at a morgue for a day till his brother arrives from Croatia,” said a relative.