Drowsy driver crashes car on E-way, killing 7

Mar 05, 2013, 06:48 IST | Richa Pinto

A Tata Sumo with 10 occupants was on its way to Thane from Karad when it collided into another vehicle; survivors said the driver was fighting off sleep from the start of the journey

Another fatal accident on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway claimed the lives of seven passengers in the early hours of Monday, allegedly because of the driver’s negligence.

A Tata Sumo, which was carrying 10 people including the driver, banged into an as yet unidentified vehicle at Kalamboli, killing seven on the spot and injuring the survivors. The police claimed that the accident occurred on account of the Sumo driver’s carelessness: he was drowsy when he lost control of the car.

The deceased have been identified as Tulsidas Chorghe (26), Sachin Bengde (30), Mubeen Shaikh (22), Juber Shaikh (30), Chandrashekhar Yadav (30), Kadar Shaikh (36) and Santosh Dhotre (32). The survivors Arjun Ghare (21), Suresh Kumavat (27) and the driver Dhanaji Lotle (25) escaped with minor injuries.

While seven people in the SUV were returning to Thane after attending a marriage reception at Anpe village in Karad, three others headed for Thane boarded the car midway. Senior Inspector of Kalamboli police station, KT Vidhate, said, “The Sumo is completely smashed. We were not able to trace the other vehicle but we think that it was a loaded heavy motor vehicle. The two people sitting on the right side of the Sumo survived while the others died on the spot.

Kalamboli police investigate the wreckage of the Tata Sumo after it rammed into an unidentified vehicle before dawn yesterday on the Kalamboli flyover; Dhanaji Lotle (right), the driver, who was driving rashly. Pics/Sameer Markande

The accident occurred on account of the driver’s carelessness. The survivors said in their statement to the police that the driver was driving rashly from the very start. In fact, he had stopped many times on the way in order to wash his face and have tea to keep from dozing off.”

The driver, Lotle, said in his statement to the police, “While we were near Kalamboli, I lost control of the vehicle. I don’t clearly remember what happened after that.” All the passengers were taken to Mahatma Gandhi Mission Hospital at Kalamboli Highway around 4 am, where seven were declared dead before admission and the remaining three were treated for injuries.

Dr PP Doke, medical superintendent of MGM hospital said, “The dead bodies were taken away by the police for post-mortem while the three injured were treated at our hospital.” The seven passengers are said to have passed away on account of head injuries while the three who survived suffered from facial injuries, shoulder pain and multiple facial abrasions. C Jadhav, uncle of deceased passenger Sachin Bengde, said, “We got to know about the accident from the police officials and rushed to the hospital. The family is still in shock after hearing about my nephew’s death.”

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