Dhaba owner leaps to driver's rescue after car plunges 25 ft into canal

After Shekhar Kotian (35) fell into the canal following a tyre burst, a local dhaba owner dove in and rescued him; Shekhar’s wife Priya said that, had it not been for the stranger’s bravery, she would have been widowed two months into her marriage

In a heart-warming display of compassion and bravery, a dhaba owner leapt into a canal to rescue a man whose car was sent plunging into the waters following a tyre burst. Priya Kotian told mid-day that she would have become a widow just two months after her wedding had the Good Samaritan not saved her husband, Shekhar.

A photo of Shekhar and Priya Kotian from their wedding on May 21 this year
A photo of Shekhar and Priya Kotian from their wedding on May 21 this year

Losing control
On August 10, 35-year-old Shekhar Kotian, a car dealer from Koparkhairane, was driving down to Vapi in Gujarat to pick up Priya after her first visit home post marriage. “We got married on May 21 and I had gone home for the first time after that. He had told me that he had left and I was eagerly awaiting his arrival,” Priya told mid-day.

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Priya Kotian had gone to visit her maternal home in Vapi for the first time since her wedding on May 21. Her husband Shekhar called her and said that he was on the way to pick her up. Illustrations/Uday Mohite
Priya Kotian had gone to visit her maternal home in Vapi for the first time since her wedding on May 21. Her husband Shekhar called her and said that he was on the way to pick her up. Illustrations/Uday Mohite

Little did she know that around 2.30 pm, Shekhar, who was driving a friend’s black Swift hatchback, had lost control of the vehicle after one of the tyres burst. This happened on a bridge, and the car breached the safety wall and was sent plunging into a canal from a 25-foot height.

Shekhar borrowed a friend’s black Maruti Swift and was on his was from Koparkhairane to Vapi to pick up his wife Priya
Shekhar borrowed a friend’s black Maruti Swift and was on his was from Koparkhairane to Vapi to pick up his wife Priya

As people began to gather on the spot, and began pondering what to do, the owner of Akash Dhaba near the bridge dove in. The braveheart managed to get a still-breathing Shekhar out of the car, after which he was rushed to the district hospital.

While Shekhar was crossing a bridge the tyre of his car burst and he lost control of the vehicle. the car breached the safety wall and was sent plunging into a canal from a 25-foot height. The owner of a dhaba saw the incident and jumped in the water to rescue Shekhar
While Shekhar was crossing a bridge the tyre of his car burst and he lost control of the vehicle. the car breached the safety wall and was sent plunging into a canal from a 25-foot height. The owner of a dhaba saw the incident and jumped in the water to rescue Shekhar

“Even in that state, Shekhar managed to tell his rescuer the number of a friend who was staying in Koparkhairane. The people who admitted him then called his friend and told him about the incident. We only got to know about it at 7.30 pm, as his friends thought we would panic,” said Priya.

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The owner of Akash Dhaba managed to get a still-breathing Shekhar out of the car, after which he was rushed to the district hospital. Shekhar suffered injuries to the head and spine but was lucky to be alive as he was wearing the seat belt
The owner of Akash Dhaba managed to get a still-breathing Shekhar out of the car, after which he was rushed to the district hospital. Shekhar suffered injuries to the head and spine but was lucky to be alive as he was wearing the seat belt

“Had it not been for that brave dhaba owner, I would have lost my husband just two months after my marriage. The car was badly damaged and the people who admitted Shekhar to the hospital told us that his injuries would have been much worse had he not worn a seat belt,” she added.

Mumbai shift
The family rushed to the hospital to see Shekhar, who was admitted to the ICU. Yesterday, they decided to shift him to KEM Hospital in Parel for better medical care. Avinash Supe, dean, KEM Hospital, said that while Shekhar suffered from multiple complications and had lost sensation in his legs, he was stable.

“Due to the impact, his cervical spine was fractured. Though there was internal bleeding in his brain, it has stopped and he will not need surgery. He is conscious,” said Supe.

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