Why We Need to Watch the Mercedes Hit-and-Run Video
The ‘Mercedes Hit and Run’ video leaves a lot to one’s imagination. Here’s why everyone must watch it.
A Facebook page run by Sidharth Sharma’s family called Mercedes Hit & Run posted a 1.56-minute video that captures the exact moment – 8:55 pm on 4 April 2016 – when the 32-year-old marketing consultant was hit by a speeding Mercedes.
The video is disturbing without being gruesome.
An argument can be made about how the video is voyeuristic and violates journalistic ethics – showing a man being flung to death. But the fact remains that the video leaves a lot to imagination – the shock of being hit by a 2,000- kilo German car, driven at 80 km/hr, the terror of being flung nearly 15 feet into air, the trauma of landing on one’s neck and having to suffer through the drive to the hospital, where Sidharth Sharma finally succumbed.
Thirty-eight seconds into the video, out of nowhere, bright streaks of light from the headlamps of a car engulf the screen. It’s clear Sidharth Sharma didn’t have more than a split second to decide whether he should dash forward or retreat to safety.
His body is flung into the air. What’s left on the scene is a black backpack. A
passerby picks the bag up and places it on the pavement to clear the
main road. Others rush to a spot up ahead.
The CCTV was not positioned to show the spot where Sidharth’s body landed, making the entire sequence look surreal. Except, somewhere in Delhi’s Civil Lines, a family mourns and a faithful friend awaits Sidharth’s return.
A Class 12 student who, at the time, was five days shy of his eighteenth birthday was allegedly behind the wheel of the speeding car. A dummy driver is reported to have taken responsibility for the accident, only to retract his statement after the victim died in hospital.
Sidharth Sharma’s family hopes that this CCTV footage – which they procured themselves – becomes part of the evidence against the brash 17-year-old, who instead of helping him get to a hospital, fled the scene. They would also hope that it shakes the conscience of the other juveniles in the car to come forward with the truth.
The video must serve as a reminder to indulgent parents to think twice before entrusting their school-going children with car keys, without first making them aware of the responsibility that goes with it.
It should also serve as a sobering reminder to many of us who drive that
no human life is worth the rush to get to some place, to drive under the
influence of alcohol or mindlessly rage on the roads.
The video should rankle our lawmakers to look at the already redefined juvenile age, in the context of rash driving cases. If a person is able to drive a car, should he still be considered a juvenile? If he’s able to gauge the consequences of his deed, as is clear by this juvenile’s attempt to abscond from the scene, should he still be considered a juvenile?
This video should also shame the police for failing to apply the law judiciously. By failing to administer an alcohol test to the juvenile accused, the police failed to make a distinction between wilful negligence and a negligent act. The accused has for now, been booked for negligent driving not amounting to murder and was sent to a remand home on Friday. The Juvenile Justice Board is due to take a decision on releasing him.
His father Manoj Aggarwal has also been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Section 304) and abetment (Section 109) for allowing his minor son, who was incidentally, a repeat offender, to drive his car.
The businessman father is out on bail after a Delhi Court on Sunday said the Delhi Police had “miserably failed to show” reasonable grounds for extending his custody.
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