Dhwani Chheda, 24, the fashion designer from Juhu who died in a car accident at Kherwadi on Friday, met Vimal Goradiya, a student in New York, through an online networking site a year ago, police said. Goradiya, 27, was driving the car under the influence of alcohol, according to the police. He sustained severe injuries and is battling for his life in Bhabha hospital.
"Chheda and Goradiya became good friends after chatting on the internet several times. Goradiya then arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday for the Christmas holidays," said Senior Inspector Avaduth Chawan of Kherwadi police station.
The duo had been to a party at Malabar Hill in South Mumbai on Thursday night, and were on their way to Dhwani's home in a Honda City car (MH04 CM 2959) when the accident occurred.
Chawan said: "The medical tests conducted on Goradiya suggested he was driving under the influence of alcohol. Goradiya got drunk at the party and was driving to Chheda's Juhu residence from there, to drop her. At around 3.30 am when they reached the Kherwadi junction, Goradiya lost control of the car and rammed it into a divider. Even after the accident, he was not sober enough to talk about it."
A police car was patrolling in the area and rushed to the spot within minutes of the accident, police said. Chavan said: "They immediately took the duo to Bhabha hospital. Chheda was declared dead on admission, while Goradiya has sustained serious injuries on his head."
Goradiya, who was living at a hotel in Colaba during his stay in Mumbai, is in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital.
"He has suffered severe internal bleeding and is in an extremely critical condition. We have informed his parents in New York, but they are finding it difficult to get tickets to Mumbai at this time of the year," said Chawan.