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Indian gas station attendant killed by SUV in Toronto

September 24, 2012 21:17 IST

Jayesh Prajapati, a Shell gas station attendant in Toronto, died after being struck by a vehicle September 15.

His wife Vaishali said her husband ran after the SUV whose owner filled the tank and drove away without paying the $112 gas bill. The vehicle dragged Prajapati, 44, before he fell down. He died at the hospital a few hours later.

Prajapati ran after the car, his wife said, since attendants had to pay if customers drove away without paying. But station owner Maz Alibhai said attendants were merely asked to take down the licence plate numbers and call the police.

Shell Canada released a statement saying it was illegal to 'charge sales associates for drive-aways.' Police have identified the driver as Max Edwin Tutiven, who is wanted for second-degree murder.

"The Ontario ministry of labor is investigating to see if there were employment standard violations," ministry spokesman Bill Killorn said. The Ontario Federation of Labor has set up a hotline for people to report instances of employees being asked to pay for stolen gas.

Mike Colle, Liberal member, Ontario legislature, will introduce a private member bill in the legislature to toughen sanctions against people who steal gas and employers who expect workers to pay for it.

Prajapati, a chemist with a master's degree, brought his family to Canada in 2006 to provide a better future for his 11-year-old son, but after failing to find a job in the related field, he worked as a gas station attendant.

Shell Canada has instituted an investigation into the incident and also set up a trust fund for Prajapati's family.

Ajit Jain in Toronto