Four members of a family, including a 12-year-old girl, died after their car collided with a tanker on the Mumbai-Pune expressway Friday morning. The deceased have been identified as Dombivali resident Savita Mote (36), Kalamboli resident Rani Kharje (32), Riya Kharje (12) and the driver Akshay Kokare (27), Rasayani police said.
They were returning to Mumbai after attending a wedding celebration in Sangli when their vehicle crashed into the tanker approaching from the opposite direction, in Rasayani on the outskirts of Mumbai at 5 am.
“The driver, along with two other women and a girl who were in the car, died on the spot and one woman was rushed to a hospital, where she is critical,” said an officer. The driver had allegedly dozed off at the wheel, police said.
“The car was returning from a wedding celebration and had been decorated for the occasion. Near the Khalapur toll plaza, it rammed into a gas tanker at high speed. The impact of the collision destroyed the front of the vehicle completely,” said an officer from Rasayani police, adding, “We have registered an accidental death report, but we might book the driver of the car.”
The six-lane 94 km Mumbai-Pune expressway is popular with motorists travelling between the two cities and beyond, but has witnessed accidents with alarming regularity.