A 22-year-old woman died when a speeding BEST bus hit her and crushed her its rear wheels as she was crossing the road at Malad on Monday morning.
Shweta Gupta, a final-year Masters of Commerce student from SNDT College, Malad, was going to meet her father, Ramesh, at his snack shop. She had just returned from college.
She was crossing the road connecting Malad station to S.V. Road when BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric and Suburban Transport) bus route number 243 hit her. The bus was heading to Jankanlyan Nagar in Malwani and was taking a turn towards SV Road from Malad station road when the accident occurred.
“The bus hit the girl and she fell on the ground,” said an eyewitness. Passersby began shouting and running towards her to help her. They even gestured at the diver to stop but he continued driving.
“The rear wheels of the bus ran over the girl’s waist and legs. Her legs were crushed,” said another eyewitness who was on his way to the station. “Even after the accident the driver continued to drive and stopped only a few meters away when the public shouted and followed the bus.”
The driver, Ajinkya Malwe (35), was handed over to the Malwani police.
Gupta’s father, meanwhile, rushed her to hospital where she was declared dead on arrival. Her body was taken to Bhagwati Hospital for a postmortem.
Gupta, who lived with her parents and older brother, left home for college at 5.00 am every day. After attending lectures, she would go to her father’s snack store to help him with his business. The inconsolable family was not in a state to speak.
Sanjay Banerjee, deputy commissioner of police (zone 11), said the Malad police have arrested Malwe for causing death due to rash and negligent driving.
Public Relations Officer of the BEST, A.S. Tamboli, said the undertaking will conduct a departmental inquiry and if Malwe is found guilty he would be fired. “Malwe is not from the new batch of drivers. He has an experience of more than seven years,” Tamboli said.
Accidents by BEST buses have killed more than five people and injured at least 18 this year.