The man who was driving three PwC employees to work in India on Jan. 9 told police he fell asleep right before the office pool car climbed a median divider and smashed into a lamp post, killing one of his passengers and injuring the other two.
According to The Times of India, police have booked Ajay Roy under Indian Penal Code sections 304 A (causing death by negligence), 279 (rash driving), and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), which could land him in prison for up to two years, if found guilty. He is still hospitalized with injuries to his head, chest, and arm.
The accident claimed the life of PwC senior associate Sudip Chakrabarty, who was pronounced dead at a hospital in Kolkata, West Bengal from head injuries.
Ansuman Dey, an associate with the firm, was hospitalized with head and hand injuries, and Dhritiman Ghosh, a manager with PwC, fractured his arm but was not hospitalized.
Authorities said no one in the car was wearing a seat belt.
Roy was at the end of an 11-hour shift last Wednesday morning when he picked up the three men at their homes to drive them to the PwC offices in Kolkata, according to The Times of India. Roy was driving on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass when he encountered a sharp curve in the road.
The driver was all the while riding through the middle lane and had negotiated a similar curve before approaching the Metropolitan traffic signal, one of the crash investigators said. “But moments after crossing the signal in front of Bypass Dhaba, he possibly dozed off and couldn’t negotiate the curve as the vehicle’s front right wheel first climbed the median divider, sped for around 25m and then rammed into a lamp post,” he said.
Given the initial findings, the driver had then possibly tried to veer left but the suddenness of the impact of hitting the post and the speed at which the car was traveling made the vehicle “yaw” before it changed the direction and came to a stop. “A yaw rotation is a movement around the axis of a car that changes the direction it is pointing, to the left or right of its direction of motion. There are also skid marks of another vehicle behind the yaw marks that indicates the presence of another car right behind it. This other vehicle had braked and steered to the left just in time to avoid a collision,” said the investigator.
In his statement to police, Roy reportedly said the three PwC employees pressured him to drive fast because they were late to work, according to The Telegraph in India. He also told authorities that he was “extremely tired” and “with the sun’s rays falling on his face, he dozed off for a few moments and the collision woke him up,” a police officer told The Times of India.
Dey and Ghosh told authorities that the road was empty when the accident occurred and there was no apparent reason for the driver to swerve right and collide with the median.