Times of India
Poladpur, May 24: Eight persons, including a six-year-old boy, were killed on the spot on the Mumbai-Goa highway at Poladpur, Raigad district, when their Toyota Qualis had a head-on collision with a State Transport bus. At around 1.30 am on Friday, the Qualis driver Manoj Patel (40) tried to overtake a stationary tempo on the dividerless highway, and in the process, crashed into an oncoming ST bus which was in the right lane. All the car’s occupants and the driver died.
Bus driver Suresh Phadtare (52) was injured and 17 of his 27 passengers suffered minor injuries. Most of them were sleeping when the accident happened.
The victims in the Toyota were mainly from two Mumbai families—the Shindes and Bukams from Tardeo and Marol. Another deceased in the car was Ravindra Salvi (40), from Dahisar. He was the only son of his parents, and is survived by a wife and 12-year-old son. The passengers were on a joint family holiday to Goa, and were returning home in the hired Qualis.
The names of the other dead are: Amit Shinde (26), Avdoot Shinde (28), Shobha Shinde (45), Sayli Bukam (25), Sahil Bukam (6) and Surekha Bukam (40). The bodies of the eight victims had been charred beyond recognition.
Qualis overtook tempo blindly: Bus driver
Poladpur: Eight persons from Mumbai were killed in a horrific mishap involving their Qualis and a ST bus on the Mumbai-Goa highway on Friday.
MLA of Mahad-Poladpur, Manikrao Jagtap, was among those who visited the hospital. “This highway is very narrow and needs at least four lanes,’’ he said.
“It is not the fault of the ST driver. We have, however, booked a case of rash driving against the Qualis driver (who is already dead),’’ said PSI K D Patil of Poladpur police.
When TOI met the injured ST bus driver, Suresh Phadtare, in the rural hospital, he said: “I had started from Parel on Thursday night at 7 pm to go to Kankavali. At Poladpur stretch, I could see the stationary tempo in the other lane, and tried to slow down. However, this Qualis suddenly overtook the tempo, and banged into my bus.’’
Relatives who rushed to the hospital from Mumbai and Ratnagiri were inconsolable. By Friday evening, only the Qualis driver, Patel’s, body was left in the morgue. The others had been claimed. “It is sad that all eight victims had their last dinner at my sister’s house in Kankavali. Among them, Salvi was a close relative from the in-laws side,’’ said Goa resident Vitthal Karekar, who had come to the hospital to collect Salvi’s body.
“The Mumbai Goa highway is very dangerous because it is narrow, and there is no divider. Motorists overtake at great risk,’’ said ACP (traffic),Navi Mumbai, Nandkumar Chaugule.
BLOOD ON ROAD
Maharashtra has had more than 6,000 deaths last year. There’s been a spurt in mishaps in the recent past
A 24-year-old woman and her sixmonth-old daughter died in a mishap at Mangaon on the National Highway-17 (Mumbai-Goa highway)
Sixteen members of a family died on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway when their car rammed into a trailer and was dragged along, underneath the trailer, for more than 7 km
Four persons were killed and two seriously injured in a mishap inside the Bhatan tunnel on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Seven persons died and 21 were injured when a truck rammed into a light commercial vehicle near Hingoli
CHECK BEFORE YOU DRIVE
The front tyres must be new, or at least well ridged if your are setting out on a long drive, the rear wheels, too, should not have lost their tread. The pressure in the tyres must neither be too high nor too low. Always carry spare tyres when on a long journey
FUEL AND ENGINE
The engine must be in shipshape condition; get the car serviced before you set out or at least get it checked by a trained pair of eyes. Check gears and brakes
Check the level of fuel and carry a few extra tanks
Have the contacts and locations of a few big fuel stations and service centres on the way
The radiator must have enough water and the engine must be well-serviced with coolants; driving during the day in summer puts a lot of strain on the engine