The National Highway area near Dongargoan on Wardha road is fast becoming the fatal accident spot as one more ghastly mishap has been reported on Sunday on the stretch which killed 4 passengers, whose car first jumped the divider and then rammed into a milk container. Last week, the Marathi classical singer Gayatri Kanitkar died near the toll naka on the same stretch after her car rammed into a stationary truck from behind.
In Sunday accident, four passengers travelling in a car were killed around a kilometre away from VCA Jamtha stadium, as their speeding car crossed the road divider, apparently after one of its tyres burst, and rammed into an oncoming milk container, leaving the truck driver injured. The impact was such that the car’s engine was separated from the vehicle and landed over 20 feet away.
Traffic was disrupted on the national highway for around an hour, as there were traffic jams in both directions after the accident between 2.30pm and 3pm. The cops had to toil hard to restore vehicular flow on the highway connecting Nagpur to Wardha and Chandrapur.
The four persons who died in the mishap were Anand Pardhi (23), Chandrashekhar Chauhan (24), Vanshpati Patel (30) of Bhopal, and Ravi Rahangdale (25). Truck driver Rakesh Shambarkar, who is recuperating at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), was lucky to survive after his vehicle toppled over and skidded some distance after the accident. The ill-fated car too turned turtle after hitting the truck.
Sikh community members, who were observing the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singhji at a gurdwara in the vicinity, rushed to help the accident victims. Their effort led to the truck driver’s prompt rescue from the truck. They also tried to help the victims in the car.
Police inspector Moreshwar Barapatre claimed the right tyre of the car had burst, leading to the incident. “After its tyre burst, the car got dragged towards the wrong lane, in which the truck was moving towards Butibori. “The truck was hit on the right front wheel, causing the steering to give way, and leaving the driver Shambarkar out of control. The vehicle then fell over on its side,” he said.
Shambarkar informed that the incident was so abrupt that he remembers nothing but losing consciousness soon after the truck received a heavy jolt and turned over. “I was helped by some Sikh community members, who were trying to pull me out,” said the truck driver. He has mostly suffered internal injuries in the lower parts of the body.
The car involved in Sunday’s accident is owned by Girish Ghodeswar. Rajesh Bopche, who usually drives the vehicle, had given the car to his cousin Pardhi to fill fuel. Pardhi was returning to Khapri along with his friends, when the accident took place. The cops can only conjecture that Pardhi was behind the wheels, since local residents and others had already dragged out the trapped bodies from the mangled car before the cops reached the spot. The cops shifted the bodies to GMCH in a government ambulance. An hotel on the highway had informed the cops after the incident.
Police said the families of the deceased had received information about the accident from passers-by, since car owner Ghodeswar stayed at Khapri, which is just 4km from the spot.
An offence of rash and negligent driving has been registered against the car driver at Hingna police stations. The cops said they are yet to ascertain who among the four dead was behind the wheel. PI Barapatre said Pardhi is deemed to be the driver since the car was lent to him.