Six people – an 11-year-old girl, four women and one man – travelling in an overloaded car at a high speed on the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway, died in a crash on Sunday morning after the person behind the wheel apparently dozed off and lost control over the vehicle. Seven others who were in the car – including four small children and the driver Suresh Bharat Barve, 35 – have been rushed to Aurangabad for medical attention.
The accident took place in Lonar taluka of Buldhana district. An eyewitness stated that a few lives could have been saved had the ambulance reached on time. “The accident took place near Shivni Pisa village, which is between two toll plazas, Mehkar Fardapur and Dusarbid, on the expressway. Both the toll plazas are around 15 km away, and an ambulance could have easily reached within 10 minutes. But it arrived after 45 minutes,” the eyewitness, Sandeep Pise, who reached the spot first along with his neighbours, told media.
Police said the 13 people in the car were headed to Shengaon from Aurangabad. The deceased have been identified as Janhavi Suresh Barve, 11; Hausabai Bharat Barve, 75; Shraddha Suresh Barve, 28; Kiran Rajendra Bodade, 28; Bhagyashree Kiran Bodade, 25; and Pramila Rajendra Bodade, 52. Those rushed to the hospital, besides Suresh, are Namrata Ravindra Barve, 32; Rudra Ravindra Barve, 12; Yash Ravindra Barve, 10; Saumya Ravindra Barve, 4; Jatin Suresh Barve, 4; Vaishnavi Sunil Gaikwad, 19.
Pise told media that the speeding vehicle first came in contact with the guardrail from the left before hitting the divider where it toppled and landed on the other side of the carriageway. “I was working in my field around 7.55 am on Sunday when I heard a loud thud. I could tell that a major accident had occurred so I immediately rushed to the spot along with others working in the field. I saw women and children scattered on the busy road while a few of them were in a semi-conscious condition and the others were writhing in pain,” said Pise.