On June 3, Amit Mehta and his colleague Christine D'souza booked an Uber from Andheri to Mahalaxmi, knowing little that this ride will turn out to be one of their worst nightmares.
The damaged Uber car after the accident. Pic/Amit Mehta
At around 2 pm, the duo boarded an Uber cab that they had booked on the app, driven by Gangaram Santosh Ugale, to go from Sakinaka to Jacob Circle at Mahalaxmi. "The driver was chewing a lot of tobacco/gutkha, whatever it is that you get in those small packets," said Amit Mehta. "He was driving rashly and wasn't wearing his seatbelt either, and when I asked him why, he said it irritated his chest. At the last flyover before Phoenix Mall, as the car was on the outer lane on the flyover, the driver swerved right in order to overtake the vehicle in front of us, and by doing so, crashed head-on into a Maruti Zen, since there is no divider on the flyover that separated the traffic on both sides."
The seat of the car which got soaked in blood. Pic/Amit Mehta
As parties in both cars recovered from the impact and shock of the accident, Amit, while trying to pick Christine up, saw that a part of her scalp form the right side of her head had peeled off. "I had to hold her scalp against her head all way from when I pulled her out of the cab, to Wochkardt Hospital," said Amit, recalling the horror that is etched fresh in his memory as he spoke. Christine is currently still in the hospital, and out of danger according to Amit’s social media post on FB—a medium that he turned to to bring light to the incident.
The victim Christine D'souza surrounded by friends. Pic/Amit Mehta
However, what’s even more surprising was Uber's response after the incident. "I got a call from someone on the social media team,instead of someone from the emergency response team, that too after 27 hours after I had sent an email to Uber about the incident," said Amit. "That was shocking. How can the emergency response team of a company like Uber, which is being paid a salary tor respond in times of emergencies, escalate such a critical situation to their social media team?"
Amit received a reply from Uber's corporate communication team on his Facebook post on Sunday. "I am so sorry for what has happened, I cannot even imagine what you must be going through. But, I'm glad we spoke and we're here to help you out in any and every way possible. I wish Christine nothing but the best of health,” said Neeti Nayak, Corporate Communications, Uber. "Since we're unable to respond to your status update, from the Uber India page, due to Facebook policy restrictions, the team has emailed you with all the information you've asked for and given below is a gist of the same. We're here to support you through the entire process. Let us know if you need help with anything else."
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