Two friends, both 23, were killed after their speeding Skoda Laura hit the roadside concrete kerb a few metres from the Chandimandir toll plaza on the Shimla-Panchkula highway in the wee hours of Thursday.
The victims have been identified as Prabhsimaran Singh and Jagteshwar Singh Talwandi, the grandson of late Jagdev Singh Talwandi, former union minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president, and son of Ranjeet Singh, former MLA of Raikot.
Police said the victims were returning from Pinjore after a late night excursion.
Prabhsimran, a resident of Sector 33, Chandigarh, was driving his Skoda Laura car, which first hit a signboard pole and then hit a concrete kerb wall right before the Chandimandir toll plaza.
Such was the impact of the collision that the deployed air bags burst open, while the bonnet and windscreen were completely damaged, even as the speedometer got stuck at 50kmph.
Passers-by informed the control room of Himalayan Expressway, which runs ambulance service on this part of Panchkula-Shimla highway.
"As commuters called us, we sent out an ambulance. The victims were seriously injured, but Jagteshwar was conscious. He had fallen over the driver, Prabhsimran, and was screaming for help. We rushed the victims to General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula," said DS Thakur, manager, corridor control, Himalayan Expressway.
Prabhsimran was declared brought dead, and Jagteshwar was referred to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. However, he succumbed to his injuries on the way, and was declared brought dead at PGIMER. His body was brought back to General Hospital, Sector 6, for post-mortem examination.
Chicken pieces, a box chocolate box and an Iphone 6 were recovered from the car.
What the post mortem says
According to forensic expert Dr Sushil Gambhir, who conducted both the autopsies, Prabhsimran died of shock and cardiac arrest. He suffered an external injury on the back of his head. "Jagteshwar suffered head, chest, abdominal injuries, besides a double fracture on his left leg," said Dr Gambhir. He did not rule out intake of liquor as chemical analysis was yet to done.
Both victims were only sons
Both Prabhsimran and Jagteshwar were the only sons of their parents. Prabhsimran was pursuing MA final-year in public administration from DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh. His friends said he wanted to be an IAS officer. He was carrying his study notes that got scattered in the car after the accident.
"I do not know when he left the house," said Prabhnoor Singh, Prabhsimran's cousin who came to collect the body from mortuary of General Hospital, Sector 6, Panchkula.
Prabhsimran's Harman said he spoke to him around 10 pm on Wednesday. "He asked me for a plan and I told him I was home. I don't know when he left for the excursion," he said.
"His joint family is into brick kiln business. His father died long back. He is survived by his mother," said Satinder Singh Tony, a councillor of Panchkula municipal corporation and a family friend of the deceased.
Jagteshwar did his graduation from DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh. He was the only son of former Raikot MLA Ranjit Singh Talwandi, who has a daughter too. Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal rushed to the local residence of the Talwandis in Sector 39 and condoled the youth's demise.
Senior Akali leader Kiranbir Singh Kang reached the hospital mortuary to take Jagteshwar's body.