There seems to be no end to the catastrophes on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. A week after seven members of a Kandivli family lost their lives on the expressway after the SUV they were travelling in collided with a dumper, another accident occurred in the wee hours of yesterday.

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Mangled remains of the Indica car the Manes were travelling inMangled remains of the Indica car the Manes were travelling in

The mishap claimed two lives and left three others injured — including an 18-month-old girl, who is critical. According to the highway police, the accident occurred around 3 am after the Indica car the Manes were travelling in rammed into a truck that was parked in the extreme right lane — reserved for speeding vehicles.

Rupali Mane recuperating at the MGM hospital
Rupali Mane recuperating at the MGM hospital

They added that the truck driver, who was supposed to change a punctured tyre, immediately fled the spot after the mishap occurred. The impact of the collision was such that the entire front section of the car crumpled instantly.

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While the two deceased were identified as Deepak Mane (35) and Dadaso Patil (35), Kumar Mane (33), his wife Rupali (28) and their 18-month-old daughter Durva sustained injuries in the mishap. The Manes were returning to their Ghatkopar residence after celebrating Ganeshotsav at their hometown in Patan, Satara district.

“The truck lacked adequate reflectors, due to which the car driver failed to spot it. Moreover, it was parked in the right-hand lane — reserved for speeding vehicles. All six were rushed to the MGM hospital in Kamothe. However, Dadaso and Deepak were declared dead on arrival.

Their bodies were sent to the Panvel civic hospital for post-mortem. Dadaso was driving the car,” said an official from the highway police station at Palaspe Phata. PSI Satish Chaudhari from Kamothe police station said, “We have taken the truck in custody and a manhunt has been launched to nab its driver.

An FIR has been registered against the unidentified driver under Sections 304, 279, 337, 338, 427 of the IPC and Sections 134, 122/177 of the Motor Vehicles Act.”

Toddler critical
Commenting on Durva’s condition, Umatai Mane, a relative, said, “The little girl has been admitted to the ICU, while her mother, Rupali, who sustained injuries to the head and the right hand has been shifted to the general ward.

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Dadaso, who was the family’s neighbour in Satara, and Kumar’s brother Deepak lost their lives in the incident. Kumar, who escaped with minor injuries, completed his brother’s final rites at Satara.” She added that the family visits their hometown in Satara every year for Ganeshotsav and returns to their Ghatkopar residence after Anant Chaturdashi.

“We had instructed them not to travel via private vehicle during nighttime, as it is unsafe. While Kumar is a BEST bus driver, Rupali is a housewife,” said Umatai.