“I was posted for nakabandi on Princess Street near Marine Drive when I heard people shouting, ‘pakdo (catch)’. I ran with the intention of saving the victims but became a victim myself,” said police naik Ashok Shinde, who sustained serious injuries, including multiple fractures in Saturday’s drink driving accident.
Shinde, admitted to Bombay Hospital, said that as he approached the spot, he was unprepared for the speed at which the accused driver’s SUV approached him. “It happened so fast I had not time to save myself,” added Shinde.
“The driver responsible for this should not be spared,” said his wife, who would not reveal her name.
“The accident was horrible. All I could see was a woman driver behind the wheel of the black Honda CR-V that crashed into a motorcycle, then into a parked police jeep. When I heard the shouts of “pakdo…pakdo”, I saw a police officer flung up in the air — that’s when I realised the strength of the impact and ran towards the spot,” said Shinde whose legs were wrapped in plaster.
Shailendra Jadhav was one of the three other constables who also suffered injuries in the accident. Jadhav, also at Bombay Hospital with an injured back and right leg, was standing with his superior PSI Dinanath Shinde, for a campaign against drinking and driving, when they were hit by the CRV.
“The vehicle rammed into us and I was crushed between our patrol vehicle and the SUV,” said Jadhav. Dinanath died of his injuries.
Taxi driver thanks fate
Sonu Yadav, the 30-year-old driver whose taxi was the first vehicle hit by Nooria Haveliwala’s Honda CRV, said: “The impact of the first collision took out much of the CRV’s speed before it went on to ram the other two vehicles.”
“I’m really fortunate that despite the impact, I escaped with minor injuries,” he said, adding: “I was on my way to the Metro cinema junction looking for passengers. I saw the police barricade and noticed policemen on the road – that’s when the CRV crashed into my vehicle.”
“I regained consciousness after 10 minutes and was taken to GT Hospital,” he explained, worrying about how he will now send money to his family in Jharkhand. Yadav said that while the owner of his taxi had insured the vehicle, he and another driver who use the vehicle will now be jobless for some time.