A 55-year-old watchman was killed in an accident on Sunday evening after a woman driver accidentally accelerated her car instead of applying the brakes.
Devyani Joshi, 42, a resident of Highland Park building in Mulund, was arrested on Monday and subsequently released on bail later in the day.
On Sunday, around 7.30pm, Bapu Laxman Maheshankar, who worked at the building, was sitting on a stool near the society gates when Joshi and her daughter got into the white Hyundai Santro (MH 43 A 6232).
“They were on their way to attend a wedding when,” said sub-inspector M Rajput from Mulund police station. “Joshi was driving towards the gate, which is at the end of a road that slopes downward. However, she encountered a speed breaker and lost control of the car.”
In her statement to the police, Joshi, who owns a garment factory, said: “I lost control of the car as my vehicle flew off the speed breaker. In order to halt the vehicle I wanted to apply the breaks, but I panicked and hit the accelerator.”
According to eyewitness, Maheshankar went flying from the stool and hit his head on the compound wall.
A panicked Joshi got out of the vehicle as other residents rushed forward to help the bleeding watchman. They took him to Rajawadi Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
Rajput said, “As per test results, Joshi was not under the influence of alcohol. As she is an asthmatic, she started to have difficulty in breathing. She was admitted to the Mulund General Hospital on Sunday night.”
S Shintre, deputy commissioner of police, zone 7, said: “We have registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against Joshi.”
Maheshankar, a resident of Kindipada area of Bhandup, was the sole breadwinner of the family and is survived by his wife and two sons — aged 16 and 10.
A resident of the building requesting anonymity said: “ We have raised money so that Maheshankar’s family can perform the final rites. We will also try to see that they can get a claim from the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.”