Former national racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife Niveditha were killed in a car accident in Chennai in the wee hours of Saturday. According to police, the accident happened when the luxury car in which they were travelling caught fire after ramming into a tree on the Santhome high road, near Marina beach, at around 3.30am. Police said Sundar and Nivedita, a doctor at a city hospital, were trapped inside the car after the accident. “They were not able to open the doors as the BMW Z3 car in which they travelled was stuck in between the tree and roadside compound wall. We were told that they were returning home after visiting a friend in Raja Annamalaipuram (near the accident spot),” said a police officer.
It was the public who alerted the police and the fire control room about the accident. However, neither the public nor the police officers who rushed to the spot were able to help Sundar and his wife as the car was engulfed in flames.
“It took more than half an hour to put out the fire before we could even make an attempt to recover bodies,” said a senior officer who was part of the team. The officer added that the vehicle was burnt beyond recognition and they could identify it as Sundar’s car only through the remains of the number plate.
Chennai-born former racer and the Chief of Federation of Motor Clubs of India (FMSCI), Akbar Ebrahim, in his condolence message said Sundar was a racer who excelled in all formats of motor sport.
“Tragic news. Ashwin Sundar, a fine young man who excelled in all formats of motor sport is no more. It’s hard to digest. Known him since an infant when he took to the sport and was always thrilled to see him perform in all disciplines. It’s sad. Really really sad. Rest in peace Ashwin and Nivaditha. May God bless both your souls,” he wrote.
In 2006, he was adjudged Champion of Champions in India after winning the 115cc 4-stroke and 150cc 4-stroke titles and in 2012 and 2013, he became the country’s undisputed F4 champion as well.