Disastrous night out claims 3 lives

Car rams median, hits overbridge pillar and topples; 2 others hurt

Three people were killed and two sustained grievous injuries after their car rammed a road median, hit the overbridge pillar and fell in the path of a speeding goods vehicle near Kengeri Thursday midnight.

The dead have been identified as Sachin Shetty, 27, Devaraj, 27, and Amaan, 21. The injured, Syed Saleem, 18, and Syed Habeeb, 21, are battling for their life at a private hospital in Kengeri. All the five are residents of Gandhinagar, Kengeri Satellite Town, said Kengeri traffic police.

The five had gathered in Kengeri and decided to have dinner at a dhaba near Kumbalgodu. They set off for Kumbalgodu after Sachin borrowed the car of his friend Pradeep.

Police said Sachin was driving the car at breakneck speed. As they approached the overbridge connecting Tumkur and Kanakapura, half a kilometre from the Kengeri traffic police station, Sachin lost control of the vehicle and slammed the brakes on.

The car veered off to the centre median and struck the overbridge pillar at high speed. Out of control, the car then crashed onto the incoming traffic lane. A goods vehicle, which had been speeding towards Kengeri, rammed the car and dragged it for some distance, police added.

The car has been mangled beyond recognition, police said. The two survivors, both unconscious, were trapped in the vehicle. The goods vehicle driver fled the scene. Passersbys alerted police who rushed the two youths to a hospital.

According to Dr Arun Naik, senior neurosurgeon at the BGS Global Hospital, Salim had suffered a skull fracture and minor bleeding in the brain. “He is out of danger and will recover,” he said but explained that Habeeb had suffered a massive facial bone fracture.

A rib had also fractured, accidentally puncturing the lungs. Habeeb underwent facial bone fracture fixation surgery at the hospital on Friday. Doctors have also conducted a procedure to drain the blood from the lungs. Naik added that the men are out of danger as of Friday.

The bodies of the deceased were moved to Victoria Hospital where an autopsy was conducted. Families of the victims expressed shock at the accident. Raghuram Shetty, Sachin Shetty’s father, told Deccan Herald that his family was in a disbelief. “My son completed BCom and was working in a hotel at Kolhapur in Maharastra for sometime.

 He moved to Bangalore three years ago and started a juice centre. I thought he had settled down in life and planned something for his future. But he is no more.”

Sachin’s brother Nitin Shetty, who runs a juice centre at Kumbalgodu, said Sachin was a teetotaller. “He had not yet mastered driving. When I heard people discussing an early morning accident on Nice Road, I did not imagine that my brother was one of the victims,” he said.

Sachin was the eldest of the four children. A native of Murthadi in Karkala, Udupi district, he was running the Lakshmi Juice Centre at Hoysala Circle in Kengeri Satellite Town. Devaraj, from Tamil Nadu, who was married with two children, had been employed a shop assistant. Amaan had been running a garage at Kengeri, while Saleem and Habeeb were welders.

Mehboob, the victims’ friend, told Deccan Herald that Sachin may have lost control of the vehicle after the car’s front tyre burst. Police, however, have not ruled out drunk-driving. It is suspected that all the five were under the influence of alcohol.

A crane was used to remove the mangled remains of the car from the road. Police have seized the goods vehicle.

This is the first major accident to take place here, after the Kengeri traffic police station was commissioned on November 21. Residents said the police should take strict action against rash driving.

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