Twenty-six-year-old Gautam Jahangid’s dreams of a happy marriage were snuffed out, along with his life, in a highway accident on Monday, just after his bachelor party in Mahabaleshwar.
The truck's driver, Siddhantsingh Yadav, is recuperating at the Sassoon hospital in Pune
Jahangid, a resident of Malad, had gone to the hill station with three of his friends to celebrate the last days of his bachelorhood ahead of his marriage next week. They were returning to Mumbai on Monday, when a speeding container truck rammed into them, killing Jahangid and leaving his friends seriously injured.
Assistant Police Inspector Vishwajit Jagtap, from Bharati Vidyapeeth police station, said, “The incident took place around 6 pm. The four friends were returning to Mumbai from Mahabaleshwar via the Mumbai-Bangalore Highway. Jahangid was forced to park his car at Jambulwadi, near the new Katraj tunnel, after it broke down.
You can neither halt nor park in the area. Signboards have also been put up, warning motorists about the hazards of flouting the norm. Most of them choose to ignore it, however, and the spot has become one of the most accident-prone ones on the highway.”
After his car broke down, Jahangid arranged for a trailer truck to transport it, and his friends and he were helping load the car onto the truck when the speeding container truck rammed into the trailer.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sarang Awad, “Jahangid was supposed to tie the knot on October 27. After having a fun-filled weekend in Mahabaleshwar, the quartet left for Mumbai on Monday afternoon. Drivers of heavy vehicles travelling on the stretch between Navale bridge and Katraj tunnel have the tendency of keeping their vehicles in neutral to save fuel.
However, this affects the vehicle’s braking ability. The driver of the container truck, Siddhantsingh Yadav (26), made the same mistake and ended up ramming his truck into the trailer hired by Jahangid.” Investigations revealed that before ramming into the trailer, Yadav had hit another vehicle on the highway as well.
While Jahangid lost his life in the accident, his friends suffered serious injuries and are being treated at a private hospital in Pune. The container truck’s driver, Yadav, is undergoing treatment at Sassoon General Hospital. A case has been registered against Yadav by one of the survivors, Nayan Patil (23).
The other side
Yadav said, “My brakes failed to respond when I applied them. I kept honking frantically and tried to ram my container into the wall. I have no memory of what happened next.”