Mumbai: Heart patient has jaw break, brow crack as biker speeds on

Updated: Apr 16, 2019, 20:31 IST | Hemal Ashar

The impact of the collision was so huge that the victim Shweta Hattangady fell flat on her face and started bleeding profusely. The incident happened in Vile Parle East on Gudi Padwa day

Mumbai: Heart patient has jaw break, brow crack as biker speeds on
Gopalkrishna Hattangady with his wife Shweta Hattangady at the hospital; (right) Vishal Gaikwad, the biker

Shweta Hattangady, 51, was on a routine evening stroll in a quiet lane in Vile Parle East on Gudi Padwa day (April 6), when a reckless biker came out of nowhere and crashed into her. The impact of the collision was so huge that Hattangady fell flat on her face and started bleeding profusely.

Hattangady's husband said that the biker, Vishal Gaikwad, was trying to escape but could not as Gudi Padwa revellers caught him and handed him over to the police. The victim's kin, however, are particularly aggrieved at Gaikwad being granted bail while Hattangady "suffers in pain."

The victim's spouse Gopalkrishna Hattangady, 59, said that some persons rushed to the spot upon hearing the noise. "Shweta has fractured her jaw and broken her nose. The bone above her right eye was broken too. She was first rushed to one hospital by passersby where they tried to stop the bleeding and is now in a hospital in Vile Parle West. After days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) she has just been shifted to the general ward," he said.

"My wife goes for a walk every day and chooses one of the quieter lanes. She has suffered three heart attacks recently and has even had an angioplasty. On Saturday, she started her walk at approximately 5.15 pm, just as the afternoon heat had lost some of its sting," said a distraught Gopalkrishna who works as a clerk in a bank.

The victim lost much blood at the site of the accident itself. "Luckily a neighbour who happened to know that she has had an angioplasty informed the doctor. Otherwise, they may have given her medication that is contraindicated," said the husband, adding, "She was grievously hurt and was suffering so much, I thought I had lost her. It was certain that she had been flung and fallen on her face because of the speed of the bike."

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Husband questions biker's dad

For Gopalkrishna, "hospital expenses have mounted to lakhs. More than the money, my wife is suffering for no fault of hers. She has lost two teeth. The sub-inspector at the police station where the FIR is lodged also said that Gaikwad must have been speeding, only then can there be such an impact," he said. The biker's father and brother met Gopalkrishna after the accident when he asked them, "Would you have pardoned the biker if the victim was your wife or sister?"

Gopalkrishna said their daughter who has just finished her college exams is looking after her mother along with the victim's brother who has come down from Chhatisgarh. "We are all praying."

An emotional Anand Shirali, Andheri resident, said that he could not control his tears on seeing his cousin Shweta being "an unfortunate victim of such brazen high-speed riding in an inside alley of Vile Parle." What Shirali is especially bitter about is that "the culprit is out on bail, while she continues to suffer like this."

Local resident Siddhesh Pawar, who was among the people who took the victim to the hospital after the shrill screech of brakes alerted them, said, "The Sant Janabai Road seems to have become some kind of expressway for bikers. I was getting ready to join a Gudi Padwa rally when I heard the sound. I rushed to the site and took the woman to the hospital. Somebody needs to be accountable and take responsibility for the accidents occurring on this road." Gopalkrishna, who has been running around since the day of the accident, said, "My wife should be home in a week, after which she will need extensive care. After what she has been through, her recovery is nothing short of a miracle."

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Bail by police

"We have nabbed the accused (aged 20 according to the FIR) and checked all documents related to the motorcycle he was riding. He was later released on bail since the sections imposed on him are bail-able," said a police officer privy to the investigation. After collecting all the evidences related to the case, the cops will file a chargesheet to get Gaikwad convicted.

The biker's father, Govind Gaikwad, said that he too was mad at his son. "I hit him after the accident and will continually advise him never to ride in this fashion again. I am not in a position to help the family financially, we live in a hutment. I, in fact, took ill because of all the tension this accident has caused. I was admitted to the hospital with Blood Pressure (BP) and high sugar and have just returned from home," he said.

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