7 occupants rushed to Aurangabad hospital; locals say ambulance took too long
The vehicle that was damaged after toppling near Shivni Pisa village in Lonar taluka on Sunday
Six people—an 11-year-old girl, four women and one man—travelling in an overloaded car at a high speed on the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway, died in a crash on Sunday morning after the person behind the wheel apparently dozed off and lost control over the vehicle. Seven others who were in the car—including four small children and the driver Suresh Bharat Barve, 35—have been rushed to Aurangabad for medical attention.
The accident took place in Lonar taluka of Buldhana district. An eyewitness stated that a few lives could have been saved had the ambulance reached on time. “The accident took place near Shivni Pisa village, which is between two toll plazas, Mehkar Fardapur and Dusarbid, on the expressway. Both the toll plazas are around 15 km away, and an ambulance could have easily reached within 10 minutes. But it arrived after 45 minutes,” the eyewitness, Sandeep Pise, who reached the spot first along with his neighbours, told mid-day.
Police said the 13 people in the car were headed to Shengaon from Aurangabad. The deceased have been identified as Janhavi Suresh Barve, 11; Hausabai Bharat Barve, 75; Shraddha Suresh Barve, 28; Kiran Rajendra Bodade, 28; Bhagyashree Kiran Bodade, 25; and Pramila Rajendra Bodade, 52. Those rushed to the hospital, besides Suresh, are Namrata Ravindra Barve, 32; Rudra Ravindra Barve, 12; Yash Ravindra Barve, 10; Saumya Ravindra Barve, 4; Jatin Suresh Barve, 4; Vaishnavi Sunil Gaikwad, 19.
Pise told mid-day that the speeding vehicle first came in contact with the guardrail from the left before hitting the divider where it toppled and landed on the other side of the carriageway. “I was working in my field around 7.55 am on Sunday when I heard a loud thud. I could tell that a major accident had occurred so I immediately rushed to the spot along with others working in the field. I saw women and children scattered on the busy road while a few of them were in a semi-conscious condition and the others were writhing in pain,” said Pise.
“The only person inside the car was the driver, who later struggled to get out of the vehicle and started running here and there on the highway. Later the driver also fainted on the road,” he added. Pise stated that as the stretch is a busy one, it was difficult to stop oncoming vehicles. “So we called our relatives and friends from a nearby village. Around 100 people gathered in no time and we tried to call the authorities for immediate help,” he added.
“When a local police team reached the spot, they started to shoo us away when we requested them to rush the severely injured people to a nearby hospital. But the cops started to shout at us and they waited for the arrival of the ambulance that came after 45 minutes. Had the ambulance come a little early, at least a few lives could have been saved,” he added.
Sarang Awhad, superintendent of police, Buldhana district, told mid-day that the car roof came off after it toppled and the occupants were found strewn on the road. “The occupants of the car are related to each other and hail from Aurangabad. The driver, Suresh Bharat Barve, is the owner of the car and an MSEB employee. We have booked him under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Motor Vehicles Act at Mehkar police station,” Awhad said. The Samruddhi Mahamarg, also known as Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Expressway, is open to traffic between Shirdi and Nagpur.
Time on Sunday when mishap occurred