Truck crushes 1, cripples highway traffic for 6 hrs

A motorist was crushed to death when a trailer’s container fell on the Innova he was driving yesterday. The accident occurred at around 6.30 am yesterday near the D Y Patil stadium in Nerul, when the trailer’s driver lost control of his vehicle, crossed the divider and swerved sharply, causing the loaded container to fall on the Innova, crushing it.

Crushed to death: The trailer was on its way to the JNPT port when the driver lost control and crossed over the divider. The sharp manoeuvre caused the container to fall on the car, crushing it and the man who was driving it

The trailer, which was on its way to JNPT, also damaged a truck and a bus in the process. The victim, 36-year-old Mangesh Palshetkar, was on his way to his residence in D N Nagar, Andheri (West) after work. He died on the spot. “The trailer’s driver is absconding. We have dispatched a team to Mumbai to search for him,” said Sheetal Munde, police sub inspector at Nerul police station.

Cops have registered a FIR against the driver of the trailer under sections 279, 304A, 427, 337 of IPC and Section 184 of Motor Vehicle act. The accident caused a vehicular gridlock on the Sion-Panvel highway near the Uran Bypass for over six hours, as the trailer lay on the road, blocking the lanes. Traffic cops reached the spot soon, but lifting the container and moving the trailer took about five hours. Although cops diverted traffic through the Palm Beach Road, commuters moving towards the city were stuck in a four-hour snarl.

Ankush Kulkarni, who was going to Dadar from Pune for official work, said, “I left Pune early in the morning, as I was supposed to reach Dadar by 9. 30 am, but I was stuck in traffic for over an hour.” Motorists soon started losing patience and started crossing lanes near the Belapur highway, using a gap in the road divider near the Belapur flyover to enter into the opposite lane, slowing down traffic in this lane as well.

The traffic jam also affected the APMC market. Sudhir Tungar, additional secretary of Mumbai APMC, said, “Fruit and grain supply was affected, as drivers were stuck in traffic. But vegetable supply was unaffected, as drivers get here early in the morning.” The toll naka at Vashi on the Sion- Panvel highway also experienced traffic disruptions. “During morning peak hours, the flow of traffic was poor in comparison to a normal day, but it became more regular in the afternoon. We have certainly incurred losses today, due to poor number of vehicles,” said an official at Vashi toll naka.

Track record
Over 55 accidents have occurred between Belapur flyover and Nerul flyover on the Sion- Panvel highway in the last year. Most of them have occurred at the Belapur bypass near the Uran intersection. Around 288 road accidents have occurred in the first three months of this year. 

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