A key witness who saw the collision between lawyer Janhavi Gadkar’s Audi Q3 and an Eeco taxi on the Eastern Freeway on Tuesday reached the RCF police station on Saturday and recorded his statement.
Gadkar is accused of ramming her Audi Q3 into a taxi, while speeding on the wrong wide of the road in the early hours of Tuesday, allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
According to police sources, the witness, a taxi driver, visited the RCF police station on Saturday morning. It had been earlier reported that the driver had first spotted the Audi speeding and witnessed the accident and its aftermath.
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“The witness told us he was driving towards Chembur where he stays when he saw Gadkar driving in the same direction as he was, but on the wrong side of the Eastern Freeway. He drove along keeping an eye on the vehicle out of concern. Subsequently, he saw the Audi crash head on with the taxi carrying the Saboonwala family,” said an officer with the RCF police station.
The police recorded the taxi driver’s statement in detail, from the point when he first saw Gadkar driving on the wrong side of the Freeway to the point where the collision took place. The police said his statement matches the sequence of events they have reconstructed based on statements of other witnesses and their own investigations.
The witness’s statement was recorded for several hours on Saturday, before he left the police station late Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday night, the police took the driver to the Eastern Freeway for an ‘event reconstruction’, where he showed the police all the locations mentioned in his statement. The police said the event reconstruction and his statement were in sync.
“Based on the statement of the taxi driver, as well as several other witnesses, we can now say that Gadkar was driving towards Chembur in the correct lane. However, somewhere near the Panjrapol exit, she felt she was going in the wrong direction. She changed lanes by driving through one of the four gaps in the divider and started driving in the opposite direction. After a few kilometres, she once again felt that she was going in the wrong direction, and that her earlier direction had been correct. She then turned around in the same lane and started driving against the flow of traffic, which was when the taxi driver saw her,” said an officer.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Sangramsinh Nishandar, Zone VI, confirmed that the taxi driver had approached the police and recorded his statement.
“This is an important witness for us, and we will extend all protection to him. We will also record his statement in presence of a judicial magistrate under the provisions of Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” Nishandar added.