Rescuers bringing the bodies people out of the crushed bus
A bus driver's attempt to avoid a pig running across the road on the Solapur highway early Saturday morning not only cost him his own life but those of the 10 passengers on his mini bus, after it crashed into a truck travelling in the opposite direction.
The police have identified the deceased as Jaywant Chavan (48), Yogita Chavan (44) and their daughter Revati Chavan (14), Jyoti Kale (52) and Vijay Kale (58) and Yogesh Lokhande (28), all from Mulund (East), Shailaja Pandit (68) from Vasai, Kavita Gite (28) from Thane, Sulabha Awchat (44) and Pratibh Awchat (49) from Pune and the driver, Ketan Pawar (29), who was from Solapur.
The crushed front of the bus
The police statement said the accident took place in the Inamdar area of the highway. The 17-seater Tempo Traveller, a mini bus, is owned by Prasanna Travels and the 11 people on it were headed to the Akkalkot Temple of Swami Samarth in Gangapur and from there to Kolhapur.
According to the police, the bus started from Mumbai around 10 pm on Friday and the accident took place around 3.25 am on Saturday. The police statement said eyewitnesses claimed the driver, Pawar, was speeding when he suddenly spotted a wild pig running across the road.
He hit the brakes, but lost control of the bus and drove over the road divider straight into the path of an oncoming truck. The impact was so huge that everyone on the bus died instantly. The trip was organised by the Kales who have a jewellery shop in Mulund. A visit to the temple is an annual pilgrimage for them, the police statement said.