A school bus owned by local corporator Santosh Shetty was taking students of DAV, Nerul back home at around 6.30 pm when it ran over a pavement in Sector 48 of Nerul. Five hawkers were injured in the process but are reported to be out of danger.
Another of Shetty’s buses had been involved in a near fatal collision on the Palm Beach Road last year.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vijay Patil, “The bus driver obviously lost control and ran over the footpath. The hawkers selling vegetables on the footpath were injured in the incident.”
The injured hawkers Sitabai Kamble (52), Pratibha Bansode (35) and Tarabai Mhatre (50), Vaishnavi Davne ( 4) and Sanjay Das (22), were rushed to the nearby Mauli hospital for treatment. The injured have received fracture injuries.
Shetty, who has recently bought new buses, said, “The driver is an experienced one who worked with BEST earlier. He suffered from fits which led to the accident.” Witnesses claimed the driver seemed drunk.
“We have detained the driver and are investigating the matter further,” said Patil. When asked if the driver was medically fit, as that is the requirement under the new rules framed by the state government, Patil said, “We will check if he had the requisite medical fitness certificate and also if the bus was fit for use.”