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Shock over crash death

RELATIVES and friends of a teenager killed in a horrific car accident that injured six others were yesterday still coming to terms with the tragedy.

Indian Prateek Baldev Raj died after being thrown out of the SUV as it lost control and crashed into a boundary wall of the Dilmun School on Wednesday night.

The 19-year-old was sitting in the front seat in the vehicle driven by Bahraini Mohammed Abdulmalik, who suffered head injuries when shards of glass pierced his skull.

He remains in a stable condition at Salmaniya Medical Complex.

Five other passengers suffered cuts and bruises in the accident, which happened at 7.30pm.

They included Vijay Loyston, Raunak Digambar, Govind Srinivas, Rahul Mahajan and Shaurya Banerjee.

The former Indian School students suffered minor injuries. All are aged 19.

The students earlier had shawarma in Adliya and were on their way to Manama when the accident took place.

The son of Al Jazira Cold Store Company employee Baldev Raj, Pratik was a student at Ernst & Young in Bahrain.

"The family is shattered after this shocking news," said a family friend of Mr Raj.

"We were taking care of Prateek's mother who was given sedatives as she was in a terrible state."

"He used to love reading books and we used to regularly exchange books and even in his friend's circle he was well respected for his intelligence," said the family friend.

"These are testing times for the family and Prateek's father is a strong man."

Prateek leaves behind, besides his parents, younger sister Prerna, a class nine student at the Asian School and his elder brother Pratham.

His body was expected to be repatriated to Amritsar last night.

Sooraj Nair, 19, who has studied with Prateek since primary school - first at the Asian School and then in Indian School - struggled to explain his emotions.

"I was at shopping at Baraka Sports in Hoora when a friend called and said Prateek along with our group of friends were injured in a car accident," he told the GDN.

"I rushed to Salmaniya Medical Complex and was told Prateek had died."

Mr Nair said he was close to the group of friends injured.

"We all are childhood friends and passed out of the Indian School last year.

"Prateek was kind hearted and used to mingle only with us.

"He never used to smoke or drink and was always close to his family. His loss is irreplaceable."

Mr Nair said some of the passengers in the car had still not been informed about Prateek's death.

"It could affect their health and it will be difficult for them to deal with this," he said.

"Three of the friends actually came from India to spend their vacation in Bahrain with their parents and wanted to have a reunion to catch up with old friends."

Witnesses said the driver lost control of the GMC at high speed and, after going over the central reservation, crashed into the school wall on the other side of the road.

Police sources earlier said the driver may have been speeding, but said investigations were continuing.

Dilmun School officials said classes had not been affected by the accident. sandy@gdn.com.bh



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