Coimbatore racer dies during practice session,parents to sue helmet company

COIMBATORE,Oct18: A 20-year-old motorbike racer died during a practice session at Kari Motor Speedway at Chettipalayam on the outskirts of the city on Sunday.J Nandakumar, who was working in a local automobile showroom, lost control of his bike at one of the corners of the racing track and it flipped during the training session organized by a private company.

Nandakumar sustained injuries in his head. He was rushed to a nearby private hospital but died in an hour. His parents have registered a complaint with the Chettipalayam police station and they intend to file a complaint against the helmet company.

Nandakumar’s brother J Gowtham said he was extremely passionate about racing. “I work in an IT company but my brother always pursued racing and wanted to make it his profession. Just one-and-a-half month back he purchased a new bike after taking a loan. Since the age of 18, he has been participating in several racing events including national meets. He has even stood 15th in one such event, last year. Last month, he took part in a race but could not qualify,” said Gowtham.

“My father was planning to visit the track on Sunday but due to some work, he did not,” said Gowtham.

On Sunday, Tarun Kumar of Coimbatore Racing Academy had organised an ‘open race track’ in which passionate bikers were invited to ride on the race track.
“Generally during training sessions, a coach would drive in front of the racers to control their speed. But this event was open for riding and there were no coaches. We had ensured that all safety gears were available with the racers and also followed all the safety norms,” said Tarun Kumar.

But Gowtham pointed out that while he did not want to file a complaint, he did feel that the ambulance was ill-equipped and lacked any doctor or nurse. “The doctor was not experienced and the ambulance did not have even the basic first aid equipment. Also, unavailability of hospitals in Chettipalayam area was a concern. Had we reached the hospital even 10 minutes earlier, we could have saved my brother,” said Gowtham.
 Senior racer in the city Vidya Prakash, who has participated in national level events and won in them as well, said he was shocked at the news. “Normally, practice sessions are permitted only after official authorization. Amateurs should be more careful and be instructed. Sometimes, to improve performance, racers lose control,” he said. The staff at Kari Motor Speedway said that Tarun had been holding sessions at their track for over two years and has always ensured that safety norms were followed. “This was an accident and such incidents are very rare,” said the staff.
Chettipalayam police officials said a case of accidental death under section 174 of the CrPC and postmortem was conducted. “The body was handed over to the parents on Sunday evening,” said a police officer.
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