Nidhi Shivgovind Pandey, 17, who was knocked down by a speeding luxury bus in Dadar during morning peak hours on Monday, was lying on the road for more than 20 minutes before being taken to Sion hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival.
A family friend who reached the spot told this newspaper that Pandey was run over on Babasaheb Ambedkar Road at around 10am, but was not rushed to hospital immediately. “I got there soon after I received a call from Nidhi’s mother, only to find her lying on the road,” said Gurjit Singh, a family friend whose office is near the accident site, and who reached there a few minutes after the accident.
A person from the gym the victim was coming out from when the accident occurred corroborated Singh’s version. “The girl was lying [on the road] for a long time before she was rushed to the hospital,” said a woman from the gym. “We were told about the accident after some time by a few witnesses,” she said.
Concerns have been raised on why motorists did not rush the girl to the nearest hospital.
The police stated their van reached the site soon and took Pandey to hospital. “The police reached within a few minutes. It is a busy road and our team got there quickly and took her to hospital,” said a police official requesting anonymity.
The driver Harishchandra Aargade, 53, was roughed up by the locals and handed over to the police. He told the police that he had tried to save the girl by steering away, but did not succeed.
A pall of gloom descended at Dosti Daffodil in Antop Hill area where Pandey lived. Her friends refuted the theory that she had earphones on. “How can someone claim she was wearing an earphone?” asked Singh. He also debunked police’s claim and stated it was the locals who took Pandey to hospital.
The Matunga police have booked Aargade under Indian Penal Code sections 279 (rash driving), 338 (causing grievous hurt by an act endangering life of others) and 304 A (causing death by negligence).