Joe Vimal Peter was 29, the dad of a two-year-old kid and had a widowed mother. He was a branch manger at VKC Forex but what he enjoyed best was music. He was a musician and played the keyboard at services at Our Lady of Guidance Church in Lazarus Church Road.
On July 25, Sunday at about 8.30 p.m. Joe, whose family resides at 6/2 Len Pereira Street, San Thome had driven on his bike to the petrol bunk on San Thome High Road. He was reversing when he was hit by, what witnesses said one of the three race bikers who were racing at high speeds on a road that was still filled with the holiday traffic.
Joe blanked out after he was thrown out and landed on the road. While the injured bikers were bundled off, it needed a SOS call by a bystander to rush Joe to Royapettah Government Hospital but since the injuries were severe, staff here advised that the victim be taken to Apollo Hospital in Teynampet. He remained in coma for two weeks and died on August 5.
His funeral, held at St. Thomas Basilica on August 6 drew a huge crowd, Most were shocked at the tragedy.
The angry among them said that the races had knocked down many people in the past and the local police had done little to control the culprits.
“I shiver when I hear the sound of these bikes on weekends,” said Gaspar, choir master at the cathedral.
Joe’s cousin said that witnesses saw three bikes racing that Sunday night. The man on a ‘Karishma’ hit Vimal. “The police who had come to the spot did nothing to help Joe: they were busy helping the bike racers get into an auto.”
It is this baised response and the inaction of the police that has angered them.
Others mourn the loss of a bubbly young man.
Said Fr. C. Ambrose, parish priest of Our Lady of Guidance Church, “Vimal was an excellent pianist. People used to come for the Sunday evening Holy Mass just to listen to his music.” He also said Joe’s family arranged for the donation of his organs.
A police case was registered following the accident Dhanaselvam, Traffic Investigator, Adyar, said that a case has been slapped on Vignesh charging him under Sec. 279 and 378 for rash and negligent driving. Later, Sec. 304 (A) was added.
Vignesh is said to be undergoing treatment for a face injury. He will be kept in remand after his discharge.
The FIR states that Vignesh and his friends were merely driving down the road and were not part of any bike race.
Sources say that Vignesh was part of a group of bikers who set off from the Adyar area to north Madras as part of informal races held every weekend.