‘Do not cross the tracks,’ is a message a commuter hears every day while travelling by train and yet most often one tends to ignore this advice. Yesterday, Vijay Patil and his wife and parents also chose to ignore this valuable advice that eventually led to his and his wife’s death. Instead of celebrating their son’s first wedding anniversary, Vijay Patil’s parents had to mourn the loss of their son and their daughter in-law, when they were knocked down by a train while crossing the tracks.
The incident occurred yesterday when 27-year-old Vijay chose to invite his parents Bala and Chhaya over to his place to celebrate his one-year wedding anniversary at Thakurli. The parents, along with Vijay’s wife, met Vijay at Thakurli at 7.40 am and the family chose to cross the tracks rather than take the bridge owing to Bala’s leg troubles. “Vijay’s father had a problem with walking and chose to use the tracks so that they would reach faster and wouldn’t have to endure any problems either,” said a relative adding that the family also had several bags, which made them choose using the railway tracks rather than the bridge.
The parents were walking behind while Vijay and Chhaya walked ahead when things took a turn for the worse. According to eyewitness Nishant Sane, who was present at the platform said, “I was waiting for the train and a local from CST to Kalyan passed and the family waited till it went by. However, they didn’t notice another local approaching, as they were busy talking to each other. Suddenly, the train approached and in a single moment, the train knocked them down.”
Another eyewitness added, “The whole incident happened in a blink of an eye. One second I watched the happy family walking and then in the next, the train passed and had killed both of them. It was so heart-wrenching.” After the incident, the couple was taken to a nearby hospital but the two were declared dead later shifted to Rukminibai hospital in Kalyan for a post-mortem. Meanwhile, the grieving parents were inconsolable and ridden with guilt and kept blaming themselves for their son and five-month-old pregnant daughter in-law’s death.
Sobbing uncontrollably, Chhaya told MiD DAY, “Why did we choose the tracks. I can never forgive myself.” Whereas Bala, the deceased’s father kept saying, ‘I killed my son, it’s my fault’ S D Bagal, senior police inspector (GRP), Dombivli, said, “This is a very sad case. We have registered a case of accidental death. We keep giving instructions to people and try to make people aware of the perils of crossing tracks and today, this case has just proved what we keep saying.”