Seven people were killed and three injured after the SUV they were travelling in crashed into a dumper on Mumbai-Pune Expressway near Khalapur on Monday.
According to the police, the victims belonged to two families from Kandivli. The families were related and had gone to their native place at Dhindewadi in Satara after one of their relatives passed way a couple of days ago. They celebrated Ganpati there and were on their way home on Monday when the accident occurred.
“Around 1.20 pm, when they were crossing Laudhivili village, their vehicle hit the divider and jumped to the other side of the road. It hit a dumper going towards Pune. Three of them died on the spot and six suffered injuries in the accident. Three of them died at MGM Hospital in Kamothe. Another injured died later in the evening,” said BP Kallurkar, deputy superintendent of police (Khalapur division).
Those who died in the accident have been identified as Puja Dharamraj Dhonde, 15, Vedanta Dharamraj Dhonde, 10, Chitra Dharamraj Dhonde, 36, Sunil Ravindra Dhonde, 40, Chitralakshmi Dinkar Pawar, 45, and Shubham Dinkar Pawar, 15.
Dharamraj Dhonde, 38, the head of one of the families, was driving the vehicle. He suffered severe injuries and died at Astavinayak Hospital in Khanda Colony while undergoing treatment.
“The other two injured have been identified as Pratik Ravindra Dhonde, 15, and Pratiksha Dharamraj Dhonde, 16. They are at MGM Hospital and are reportedly critical,” said a police officer from Khalapur police station.
The driver of the dumper escaped unhurt. The police were taking his statements till the time of going to the press. No case has been registered against him.
Kallurkar said, “We do not know the exact reason of the accident as none of the injured are in a position to give their statements. However, this is not a case of drink driving. Probably, the man at the wheel lost control and hit the road divider.”
“The bodies have been sent to Khalapur and Panvel rural hospital for post mortem. We will hand over them to their families by Tuesday morning,” said another police officer.