Three AIIMS doctors killed, 4 injured in road crash on Yamuna Expressway
This 169-km expressway has claimed close to 600 lives since it became operational in 2012.india Updated: Mar 18, 2018 23:29 IST
Three AIIMS doctors were killed and four of their colleagues were injured during a joyride on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura on Saturday night when their car slammed into the back of a truck with protruding metal rods.
Police identified the dead as 35-year-old Harshad Wankhede, whose birthday the group was out to celebrate, 25-year-old Yashpreet Singh, and 25-year-old Hembala Taneja.
“The SUV was badly damaged, with the front virtually entering the canter (truck) carrying iron rods. Three of the doctors, including Dr Wankhede, died on the spot in the accident that occurred at about 2.30am on Sunday. The four injured were taken to Bhaskar Hospital in Mathura,” said superintendent of police (rural) for Mathura, Aditya Shukla.
The injured were Jitendra Maurya, Mahesh Kumar, Abhinav Singh, and Catherine Halam. All were residents at the emergency medicine department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi.
The driver of the truck was absconding and images from the crash site indicated that the vehicle was being driven illegally — its load should not have been protruding and the vehicle did not have a mandatory fitment that would have stopped the victims’ car from under-running into it.
It is unclear if the victims’ vehicle, a Toyota Innova, was speeding. Colleagues of the victims said the seven had initially planned to celebrate Wankhede’s birthday at a restaurant in Delhi’s Connaught Place. “But when they found the place too crowded, they took an impromptu decision to drive to Agra, see the Taj Mahal and return to work by Sunday evening,” said Apoorva, a doctor at the AIIMS emergency department. A second colleague said they were first alerted of the accident by Halam and Singh, who shared the location of the accident site through WhatsApp. “We first thought it was a relatively minor accident as Catherine was able to type and send the message,” said Priya, Halam’s batch-mate.
This was not the only fatal accident on the Yamuna Expressway on Sunday. At around 5.30am, a UP Roadways bus fell off the elevated road and into an underpass, killing two people on the spot. The driver is suspected to have fallen asleep. Since the 169-km expressway opened in 2012, there have been more than 100 deaths every year in fatal accidents on the stretch.