Airline bus runs over auto driver, injures kin

Three accidents. Three different days. The line connecting the dots is the Western Express Highway (WEH), near which all the mishaps occurred. In MiD DAY’s ongoing campaign on dangerous roads, we had yesterday illustrated the various perils that lurk at the WEH. The same morning, a 45-year-old man lost his life, while his wife and kids sustained injuries after a bus rammed into their auto in Santacruz (East). The bus belongs to Air India. The driver is absconding.

The deceased, Shashikant Dhokle, was driving his own auto rickshaw (MH-01-AK-1158) with his wife Sharada (35) and two children Nishant (14), and Roshan (11) in the back seat. The family resides in P&T colony at Nehru Road in Santacruz (East).

Breadwinner gone
According to Vakola police, “The incident took place on Wednesday around 7.30 am when Dhokle was returning home along with his family after meeting relatives in Virar. He was driving the auto while his wife and children were sitting in the back. As the auto reached CST junction in Kalina, an Air India bus (MH043-H-1188) also heading in the same direction hit the three-wheeler from behind.

“Dhokle was thrown off the auto due to the impact. His head hit the ground first leading to his death. His wife and children also fell out of the auto and suffered head injuries,” said senior police inspector RG Pardeshi of Vakola police station.

“The bus driver fled the spot, but passers-by rushed the victims to VN Desai Hospital. The children are out of danger and are under the observation at the hospital. We have seized the bus and are searching for the driver. A case has been registered against him for causing death due to rash and negligent driving” said Pardeshi.

In another incident at Kurar in Malad (East), a BEST bus was damaged by irked locals after it hit a motorbike, wounding two persons. According to the victims — identified as Swapnil Ashok Patkar, and Suryakant Shirvandekar, who was riding pillion — they suffered head injuries after the BEST bus (MH02-BN-2799) hit the motorcycle from behind near the Agarwal stores in Malad (E).

While Patkar has been admitted to Sion Hospital, Shirvandekar was rushed to a private hospital. The two victims, who are residents of Kurla, were returning home when the accident took place on Tuesday night.

The police have arrested the driver of the bus Haridar Bandgar (35) for rash and negligent driving.

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