For Vijay Bhansali (37), the decision to take his three-month-old car for a long drive for the first time ended in disaster, as the businessman and his driver were involved in a four-vehicle pileup on the Western Express Highway yesterday afternoon. They escaped with minor injuries even as the car they were traveling in got crushed between a tempo and a bus.
Bhansali, a businessman and resident of South Mumbai, was on his way to the international airport along with his driver, to board a flight to Dubai when the accident occurred. According to eyewitnesses, the tempo, which rammed the car, was driving in the middle lane, and suddenly veered sharply to the left lane thereby ramming the car. “The impact was so huge that the car went under the bus. But thanks to the airbags in the car, the passengers did not suffer any fatal injuries,” said Harsh Angadi, eyewitness to the accident, who was driving his car behind the tempo.
Cops who arrived at the spot stated that the tempo driver and two of his co-passengers fled the spot after the accident. “Miraculously, both the occupants in the car escaped with minor injuries. They were taken to Cooper Hospital, Vile Parle for a check-up,” said an officer from the Vile Parle Police Station.
“At about 1.15 pm, Vijay had reached the northern end of the flyover in front of the domestic airport on the Western Express Highway,” said Manak Bhansali, Vijay’s father. Vijay’s driver was driving in the extreme left lane, when a bus suddenly braked in front of him. The driver of the bus, Ashok Maurya, said, “A Toyota Innova, which was in the last lane, suddenly stopped ahead of me to let some passengers off. Due to this, vehicles behind it, including mine, had to suddenly apply brakes. As I braked, I heard a loud crash behind me following which there was a huge jerk to my bus. I realised that a car had hit my bus from behind and had been crushed under it.”
Maurya added that the tempo, which had hit the car, even hit his bus before speeding off. “The tempo turned so suddenly that I could not react on time. I braked hard, but I hit the tempo from behind. My car suffered a few scratches on the front bumper,” said Angadi. “For the first time since he bought it three months back, Vijay had taken his new car for a long drive,” said Manak. “Earlier, he used to only drive it in the neighbourhood,” he said.