The youth told the police that they had tried to speed away as they did not want the police to know that both of them did not possess a driving licence.

A high speed run by two youth in a car on the Kazhakuttam-Kovalam NH bypass on Tuesday evening caused panic among other motorists and pedestrians and ended when the car crashed against a tree at Kallummoodu, some distance away from Eenchakkal.

Two traffic policemen and a wayside vendor were nearly run over at Kallummoddu as Sajan, 22 and Anish, 23—neither of them had a driving licence—finally lost control of their car. Sajan, who according to the police, has cases pending against him at the Medical College police station, was driving the car.

The speeding vehicle was first noticed by the police at a point near Venpalavattom. As an alert was sounded over the police wireless, traffic policemen tried to flag down the car at Chacka and later at Eenchakkal. Two policemen—Sub-Inspector Balachandran Nair and civil police officer Chandrasenan—who were on bike patrol near Kallummoodu heard the wireless messages and stopped traffic on the bypass to create an artificial traffic jam.

“Our aim was to try and box in the speeding car. The car initially slowed down, but when the youth saw us approaching the vehicle, they tried to speed away and the car roared straight at us. We barely managed to jump out of the way. The car dashed against our motorbike, cut across the road and dashed against a tender coconut stall by the wayside. The car finally hit a tree when the youth tried to turn the vehicle around and escape,” Mr. Nair told The Hindu. Once the car hit the tree and stopped, local people jumped on it, dragged the youth out and handed them over to the police.

Ashokan, whose wayside tender coconut stall was demolished by the speeding car, told The Hindu that he had a very narrow escape. “I was sitting at the stall when the car came directly at me. I jumped to one side and rolled. The car sped past me and rammed my bike. The youth then desperately tried to turn around their car and rammed that tree. I guess it wasn’t my day to die,” he said.

The youth—hailing from Pozhiyoor—who were later booked for rash driving told the police that they had tried to speed away as they did not want the police to know that both of them did not possess a driving licence.