On Thursday afternoon, friends and family of Sahil Likha, 27, gathered at a temple in Sector 45 to mourn his death.
Remembering him as a cheerful person with dreams to become a builder and give his parents a comfortable retirement, Sahil’s family was inconsolable.
“He spoke with me at 7.10 pm on Tuesday and asked us to get ready to go out for dinner,” said Sahil’s cousin Ishan Likha. The entire family was ready and waiting for Sahil to return from his office, Haryana State Agricultural Board, Panchkula. When he did not come till 8.30, his parents panicked and started calling him on his mobile.
Sahil died after his bike was hit by an unknown vehicle on the dividing road of Sector 32 and 46 on Tuesday night. A family passing by found him lying in a pool of blood, and his helmet broken into pieces. They answered Sahil’s father’s call on his mobile, called the police and took him to hospital.
Sahil’s family has not been the only one to get to know from a stranger that their loved one met with an accident and was taken to a hospital; there have been six other fatal accidents just this month alone.
Two days before Sahil’s accident, a 17-year-old student of nursing, Vandana, was fatally injured. Vandana, a native of Himachal Pradesh, was on her way to visit the Rock Garden with her friends when a speeding Innova hit her and her friend Indu, both second-year students of nursing at a private institute in Mohali.
Data with the Road Accident Analysis Cell of Chandigarh Police shows that till May 25 this year, 170 accidents were reported to the police. Out of these, 43 were fatal. In one of the accidents two persons had died.
Last year for the same time period, there were only 152 accidents but the number of fatal accidents was higher at 51.
In a 2013 survey by the research wing of the Ministry of Road Transport, Chandigarh had just 114 fatal accidents, ranking third in the list of Union Territories after Delhi (1778) and Puducherry (223). But in the last two years, the city crossed that number in just first five months.
Dr Umesh Sharma, an Associate Professor at Punjab Engineering College and an expert in Traffic Engineering, Transport Environment Interaction, blames rash driving.
“In Chandigarh, most of the accidents happen because the drivers are negligent and do not follow rules. Here we cannot blame these accidents only on the road defects or any engineering faults. Chandigarh is well planned. But the residents will follow rules only when they see a cop standing,” he said.
“My cousin died because of someone else’s fault. We are now hoping that the police will find his killer. Sahil was very close to his younger brother and parents. They are inconsolable. He wanted a normal and easy life,” said Ishan.
A friend, Gaurav Grover, said, “I always saw him helping others. Even before he died, he called me for helping a friend.”
Other accidents this month
May 15: A resident of Sector 46, Jatinder Khanna succumbed to injuries after he was hit by a truck on the dividing road of Sector 46 and Sector 49 on May 14. The incident happened around 8 pm when the victim was coming back from Mohali on a motorcycle with his son Rajesh Khanna. After his son dropped him, Jatinder was crossing the road to go home. He was hit by a speeding truck and was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32.
May 14: A woman pedestrian, 50, died after a speeding car rammed into her while she was crossing the road near Sector 31. She was crossing the road near Sector 31 petrol pump opposite the Sector 29-31 intersection when the vehicle driven by Devinder Singh Rawat, a resident of Housing Board Colony, Dhanas, hit her.
May 13: Darshan Kaur, 45, a resident of Ropar, died after she was hit by a speeding car outside the New OPD gate of PGI. She was hit by a vehicle driven by Kiranjot, working with a Punjab government’s biomedical lab in Sector 11.
Darshan Kaur and her husband Randhir Singh were crossing the road to go towards the CTU bus stop, Sector 11. Kiranjot came out of PGI, took a right turn and hit Darshan just in front of a traffic police booth. Kiranjot told the police that the victim had suddenly stopped while crossing the road in front of her car.
May 4: A software engineer, Sachin Garg, a resident of Sector 27, succumbed to injuries after he was hit by a speeding car on the dividing road of Sector 20-21 a day before the accident. Sachin was going to his younger brother’s coaching centre to give him breakfast. On the dividing road of Sector 20-21, he was hit by an unknown car from behind. A passerby noticed him lying in a pool of blood.
The police were called and Sachin was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. He succumbed to injuries while under treatment.
May 1: An accident which occurred at the Sector 3-4 roundabout claimed the life of 33-year-old Manisha, an advocate of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, on Thursday evening. Manisha’s two-wheeler was hit by a speeding Mercedes driven by Vikram, a Sector 5 resident. Manisha’s friend Kulvir Kaur gave a complaint against Vikram for rash driving and causing death due to negligence.
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