Like every year, 20-year-old Shraddha Kale spent her summer vacations at her native village in Satara and like every year she was going to come back to her home in Kandivli with her parents. But what the B Com student did different this time was opt for a luxury bus instead of a regular Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation bus, which proved fatal for her.
Lata and Dattatrey Kale after the accident at MGM Hospital in Panvel. (Right) Shraddha Kale. Pic/Sameer Markande
She asked her parents — Dattatrey Kale (49) and Lata Kale (45) — to book their tickets in a luxury bus this time and they fulfilled her wish. “Shraddha and Lata had spent 15 days in the village and on Saturday I had gone their to get them back to Mumbai. We were about to take a state transport bus, which we usually do for this trip after the summer vacations, but Shraddha wanted to go in a luxury bus ticket. We booked three tickets in a luxury bus of Nikhil Travels,” said Dattatrey, who works as a peon at the office of Additional Chief Secretary, Transport, in the Mantralaya.
“At 11:10 pm the bus left Satara and within minutes it started raining heavily. Few passengers even complained of the water seeping in the bus but later the matter settled down and everyone went to sleep. The driver didn’t even take a break in-between,” added Kale, who has two more sons.
Dattatrey was woken up by the sound of the accident. “We were sleeping when I heard a loud sound of vehicles dashing against each other and before we could react or balance ourselves our bus fell into a 20-foot ditch and I lost my daughter,” he said.