Ahmedabad double tragedy: 9 killed as car rams into crowd at accident site; realtor, son held

At least nine persons, including a constable, were killed and around 10 others injured when a speeding high-end car being driven by a college student rammed into a crowd gathered at an accident site on a bridge in Ahmedabad city on Thursday, police said. 

Hours after the post-midnight tragedy on ISKCON Bridge, 20-year-old Tathya Patel, the car driver who was also injured, was arrested after he was discharged from a hospital, said a senior police official. 

Angry bystanders thrashed the car driver, the son of a real estate developer, and a video of it was recorded by a person standing below the bridge. 

Since his father, Pragnesh Patel (44), had allegedly threatened people after reaching the accident spot, he was also arrested on charges of criminal intimidation, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Traffic, Neeta Desai. 

A constable and a Home Guard jawan, who reached the spot after the first accident of a collision involving two vehicles, were among those killed in the car crash, they said.

“A Thar (an SUV) collided with a truck at ISKCON Bridge on the SG highway. After receiving information about the accident, local traffic police and a Home Guard jawan reached the spot to manage movement of vehicles and handle the situation. Out of curiosity, several bystanders also gathered at the spot to check what had happened,” Satellite police station inspector K Y Vyas said. 

“When they were on the bridge, a speeding Jaguar car rammed into the crowd, killing five persons on the spot, while four persons died during treatment. The deceased included a constable and a Home Guard jawan. Nearly 10 persons who received injuries were admitted to different hospitals,” he said. 

Car driver Tathya Patel was admitted to a private hospital as he too received injuries, the official said. A common FIR (first information report) against the father-son duo was registered at the SG Highway Traffic Police Station in the evening under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 279 (driving or riding a vehicle in a negligent manner), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and under relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act. 

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel expressed grief over the incident and announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured. 

Preliminary probe revealed Tathya Patel is a second-year college student, while his father Pragnesh Patel is a builder by profession and had faced various criminal cases in the past, the police said. 

Later in the day, Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi announced that the case will be tried in a fast-track court for speedy justice to the victims. 

“Police will file a chargesheet within a week and a special public prosecutor will be appointed by tomorrow (Friday). This case will be tried in a fast-track court for speedy justice. We have learned that Pragnesh Patel, who has a chequered past, had threatened people on the bridge after reaching there. We will also take action against him,” said Sanghavi. 

By evening, an FIR was registered against the father-son duo and both were arrested. 

“As soon as doctors gave a go-ahead, we arrested Tathya and brought him to the police station along with his father. We have also brought five youngsters, including three girls, to the police station to know what exactly happened. These youngsters will be made witnesses in the case,” said DCP Desai. 

Late in the evening, the two accused were taken to the bridge to recreate the sequence of events leading to the car crash. 

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Patel held a meeting with Sanghavi, DGP Vikas Sahay and other top police officials in the evening and directed them to take necessary steps to ensure cases of overspeeding do not happen in the future anywhere in the state, said an official release. 

Most of the deceased and injured youth belonged to other cities and were living here as paying guests, as per police sources. 

Image courtesy of PTI

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