Five men are now probably indebted to their lucky stars after they miraculously escaped a horrific car crash with only minor injuries. In the first of monsoon-related accidents recorded this season, a trailer collided with a car on the Eastern Express Highway at Suman Nagar late on Wednesday night. Despite the car being crushed, all five occupants managed to walk away relatively unscathed.
Around 12.30 am on Thursday, a group of four friends and a driver were on their way to Pune. Premanand Singh (23), Rakesh Singh (23), Thangmin Mate (19), Naorem Singh (20), along with the driver, Sachin Bantawane (30), were returning home from a two-day trip to Mumbai, when the accident occurred. A trailer coming from the opposite direction hit the car, which was heading to Pune.
“The trailer was plying on the wrong side of the road. The city had experienced its first heavy showers that night, which left the roads wet and slippery, causing the front-left tyre of the trailer to come loose. The driver then lost control of the vehicle and rammed into the front side of the car,” said Dhananjay Bagayatkar, senior police inspector of Nehru Nagar police station. He also added that the consequences would have been disastrous had the two vehicles been speeding, but since they weren’t, there were no casualties.
The five passengers in the car were taken aback on realising their narrow escape from death.
“Everything happened in a matter of seconds. When we saw the trailer coming towards us, there was no time to react,” said Thangmin Mate, a student. Recounting the moments before impact, Naorem Singh said, “I just closed my eyes when I saw the trailer approaching so close. The impact was huge, but fortunately, none of us suffered grievous injuries.”
After the passengers regained their bearings, they tried to nab the driver of the trailer, but he escaped. They then hailed a cab and rushed to Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General (LTMG) hospital, where they were admitted to the casualty ward at 2 am. “Premanand had pelvic injuries, while Naorem and Rakesh suffered from chest injuries. Sachin and Thangmin had to get a few stitches on the head. But considering the magnitude of the accident, they were lucky to get away with minor injuries,” said Dr Rajeev Singh, assistant medical officer, LTMG hospital. All were discharged at 2.30 pm on the same day.
The driver of the car, Sachin Bantawane, who also happens to be the co-owner of a travel agency in Pune that owns the car, said, “The car has been kept at Nehru Nagar police station. Once my health gets better, I will get the car back.”
While the trailer suffered minimal damage, the car bore the entire force of the impact. “The interiors of the car seem fine, but externally, it has been smashed in the front, dented on the right-side, with broken window-panes and cracked windshields,” added Bantawane.
Phoolchand Ramlakhan Saroj, the driver of the trailer who was also unhurt in the crash, has been arrested under Sections 279, 337, 338 and 427 of the Indian Penal Code. The trailer has been seized by the Suman Nagar police chowki.