An 18-year-old TV actress, Neelam Bharadwaj, was killed when a speeding Honda City crashed into the autorickshaw she was travelling in at Juhu Galli on Friday morning.
Bharadwaj had acted in two serials: Mata ki Chowky and Shani Dev. A Bhopal native and daughter of BL Sharma, personal assistant to BJP leader Uma Bharti, she had come to Mumbai two years ago and had been staying at Shastri Nagar, Andheri (West).
Purvesh Patkar, 25, the driver of the Honda City, was arrested and booked for causing death due to negligence and rash driving. He has been released on bail.
Initial medical reports have revealed he was not driving drunk, said Vishwas Nangre-Patil, additional commissioner of police (west).
Police said that at 7.30 am, Bharadwaj was on her way to meet a relative at a Juhu hotel when the Honda City coming in from the opposite direction hit the rickshaw. She suffered injuries to her head and was taken to Cooper Hospital, where she was declared brought dead.
‘Driver tried to flee’
Purvesh Patkar, 25, the driver of the Honda City that hit the autorickshaw in which TV actress Neelam Bharadwaj was travelling, tried to flee after the incident but was caught by locals and handed over to the police, a police officer from DN Nagar police station said.
Though his initial medical reports have revealed he was not driving under the influence of alcohol, Vishwas Nangre-Patil, additional commissioner of police (west) said Patkar’s blood samples had been taken, and whether or not it was a case of drink driving would be conclusively established only after the chemical analysis reports were in.
Patkar’s vehicle has been seized and will be inspected by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) to ascertain if the accident was the result of human error or a mechanical failure.
Bharadwaj’s post-mortem report is awaited, and police are yet to find the autorickshaw driver or his vehicle. Police said there were no eyewitnesses to the incident and that they were relying on CCTV footage from the area to find out details.
“Lcals checked Bharadwaj’s phone to find her parents’ number They found a contact named ‘Papa’ and called him. It turned out to be one of her friends who then rushed to the hospital and helped us identify her. Her family in Bhopal has been informed,” a police officer said.