2 Dead, Pilot Critical After SUV Driving On Wrong Side Rams Their Cab In GgnBagish.Jha@timesgroup.com
A Scorpio speeding down the wrong lane of Golf Course Road smashed into a cab taking an IndiGo pilot to the airport inside Sikanderpur underpass early on Sunday, leaving her critically injured and the driver and guard in the cab’s front seats dead.
The Sikanderpur underpass is a curving one and police said the cab’s driver would have had no time to react to the Scorpio on the wrong lane as he would not have seen the SUV come from a distance. The cab had already travelled 500 metres inside the 1.2km-long underpass and was on the curving road when the Scorpio hit it head-on around 5.30am.
The collision would have been at a very high speed because there is little traffic at that hour and Golf Course Road has been revamped and designed as an expressway. The bonnets of both the Scorpio and the cab, a Swift Dzire, were completely mangled. Police said the air bags of both vehicles had opened but the driver and guard in the cab died on the spot despite that.
The Scorpio, which was coming from the Cyber City side and should have been on the other lane, has a VIP number and bore a fake Member of Parliament sticker, police said. A hunt is on for the driver, who escaped from the scene. The vehicle has a Delhi number and is registered in the name of Pradeep Kumar, police said.
The pilot, Suvarna Sripalli Gayatri (30) was to report for her flight and started early from her house in Sector 61 on Golf Course Road (Extension) in the office cab. She was seated in the rear. The cab reached Golf Course Road through Rajesh Pilot Marg and proceeded to enter Sikanderpur underpass near Bristol Chowk as it headed for the expressway from where it was to take a right turn for the airport.
Gayatri was taken by a police patrol team that was alerted by passersby to Medanta hospital. She is admitted to the hospital’s intensive care. The hospital did not give out any information on the nature of her injuries. The cab , Vinod Yadav, was a resident of Bijnor in UP. The guard travelling with the pilot, Kishore Yadav, was from Bareilly. “The Scorpio driver is absconding. We’re trying to nab him,” said DLF 1 police station SHO Kailash Bedi, adding that while the injured pilot was taken to Medanta, the bodies of the deceased were taken to Civil Hospital.
ACP (traffic) Heera Singh admitted driving down the wrong side and speeding are serious problems on Gurgaon’s streets. “The vehicle was approaching at speed from the wrong side,” said Singh, adding police would conduct a traffic rules enforcement drive on Monday on Golf Course Road. He said people often take a wrong turn under the flyover and even in the middle of the road.
“We try our best to enforce traffic rules, but deploying manpower 24×7 is not possible,” said Singh, adding with lesser traffic on weekend, commuters tend to drive down the wrong side and take short cuts more often, endangering lives In a statement, IndiGo said, “Airline staff are present at the hospital and in contact with the family of the injured staff member. The accident is being investigated by police. The first indications are the accident was caused by reckless driving by the other car.”
In December 2017, a biker had died in an accident at Sikanderpur underpass after being hit by a car.