Kusal Mendis, who was arrested by Panadura North Police on Sunday (5) morning, following a fatal road accident involving his SUV, was released on bail — two surety bails of rupees one million each– by the Panadura Magistrate’s Court on Monday (6). The prominent Sri Lanka cricketer’s driving license was temporarily suspended too.
The Range Rover SUV which Mendis was driving at around 5 a.m. on Sunday in Horethuduwa, near Panadura, has run down a 64-year-old cyclist, who has been a bus conductor riding his bicycle early morning towards Moratuwa, north of Panadura, to start his day’s work. The accident has been recorded on a nearby CCTV indicating Mendis was driving his vehicle completely on the opposite lane of the road.
Hit and run?
It was reported earlier that Mendis had left the spot of the accident without attending the injured and, about an hour later, has appeared before Panadura North Police Station. The above point has been raised by the plaintiff who has argued that the victim has been left lying on the road unattended for nearly 40 minutes until the nearby people had called for the ambulance.
One of Sri Lanka’s current opening batsmen Avishka Fernando has also been with Mendis in the same SUV at the time of the accident. The two had been on their way back from a wedding ceremony. Fernando too was present in the court on Monday.
Left the spot in great shock
President’s Counsel Kapila Waidyaratne, who appeared for Mendis, has first apologised from the judged on behalf of his client for causing the fatal accident. He has also said that Mendis has not been proved to be under any influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Waidyaratne has also said his client has fallen asleep inside the vehicle due to fatigue by the time he caused the accident.
He has also said that Mendis got down from the vehicle immediately after the accident and inspected the injured but has left the place due to extreme shock. Mendis has then drove his vehicle to his house and told his father about the accident. About an hour later, Mendis has surrendered to the Panadura North Police, Waidyaratne has explained, arguing against any absconding.
Rs. 1 million compensation
The house of the victim which has no room to place his coffin
Waidyaratne has also told court that his client was willing to pay a substantial damage to the wife of the deceased. Then the judge has asked from the immediate family of the deceased as to what amount they requested.
The aggrieved party appearing at the court has then asked for rupees one million as compensation, which Mendis has agreed to pay. The judge has then said there is no reason why the defendant is allowed to have bail.
No space for coffin
The television reports on the incident on Monrday revealed that the small wooden house of the diseased bus conductor at Gorakapola in Panadura has no room to accommodate his coffin. Therefore the coffin has had to be placed inside a nearby house.