Posted On Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 09:00:53 AM
Five passengers died and two others sustained serious injuries after two cars — one heading to Pune and the other bound for Mumbai — collided head-on on Pune-Mumbai Expressway on Monday morning.
Incidentally, police claim that this was the same spot where renowned Marathi film, television and stage actor Anand Abhyankar and his colleague Akshay Pendse were killed over a month ago, and in the same manner.
The Wadgaon Maval police said the mishap took place at Baur village, near Pavana police chowky, at 8.30 am. They added that the driver of the Maruti Swift heading towards Pune lost control of the vehicle, swerved and mowed through the 1.5 km-broad green patch serving as a median between the two-way traffic, to enter the other corridor, where it collided with a Mumbai-bound Maruti Eeco.
|Pics: Bandu Yevale
• The impact of the collision was such that both cars — Maruti Eeco (below) and Maruti Swift were reduced to scrap
The police have identified the deceased as Shivaji Tukaram Waikar (47) from Bhandup, Ajit Anand Lalwani (48) from Mulund, Prakash Gunaji Salve (45) from Sewri, Yadneshwar Gajanan Pathak (50) from Wadgaon Budruk and Gajanan Shankar Pandit (41) from Wakad.
Lalwani and Salve were travelling in the car heading to Pune. Waikar, Pathak and Pandit were in the other car. Sadanand Madhusadan Atre (29) of Koparkhairane in Navi Mumbai and Kisan Bhikaji Ingulkar (50) of Velha were reported to be critical.
The deceased and injured persons were rushed to a private hospital in Nigdi. According to the police, the car crossed over to the other side because there were no medians to stop it. It went on for almost 400 feet in the opposite direction before colliding with the other car.
Superintendent of Police, Highway Safety Patrol (HSP), Dilip Bhujbal said, “It is the same stretch of the Expressway where Abhyankar’s accident had taken place. It’s a distance of 200 metres between both the accidents.”
At this spot, according to Bhujbal, both the corridors are of equal height and also level with the garden separating them. Any vehicle can pass through the garden easily. “We need a median that will prevent vehicles from crossing over onto the other side,” Bhujbal added.
Bhujbal said HSP has identified eight sectors on the Eway where such accidents — vehicles crossing over onto the other corridor in the absence of medians — take place on a regular basis.
“We have suggested installation of rumbling strips at these spots, which will help drowsy drivers wake up,” he said. These spots are located in the stretches of 50 km to 52 km, 58 km to 76 km, 78 km to 86 km and 89 km to 92 km milestones on the Expressway from Mumbai to Pune.