A day after six members of a family lost their lives in an accident while they were on their way to the temple town of Pandharpur, scores of people gathered outside their house at Barve Nagar in Bhatwadi area of Ghatkopar (West) as their bodies arrived on Sunday.
The six were killed after their SUV collided with a state transport bus near Ishwarvathar in Pandharpur district. According to the police, the deceased are Suresh Kokane (68), who was driving the SUV, his son Sachin (42), daughter-in-law Savita (39), grandson Aryan (12), daughter Shraddha and her son Pratham. Shraddha’s daughter Dhanashree is battling for life in hospital.
Suresh was a businessman and ran a catering service in Barve Nagar. Local residents said Suresh was well-known in the area as he was always willing to help others, even lending money to those in need.
Among those who queued up outside the Kokane residence after news of their death spread were MP Kirit Somaiya, MLA Ram Kadam and corporator Suresh Patil.
Among top five districts in road accident fatalities
Solapur (rural), where Pandharpur falls, was among top five districts in the state in road accident fatalities in 2018. Maharashtra recorded 11,920 fatal accidents in 2018, in which 13,076 people were killed, of which 506 accidents happened in Solapur (rural) killing 562 people. Since the highway on which the latest accident occurred is a two-lane road, several accidents occur while overtaking. The highway traffic police are taking measures to curb accidents but it seems they are not enough.
“People liked him for his kind nature. He would go out of his way to help people. I know a case where someone he knew in the area was facing a financial crisis. He visited the person and gave him money without putting forth any conditions,” said a local resident.
Neighbours said they lived in a joint family. Suresh lived with his wife and sons Sachin’s and Pritham’s family, while his daughter Shraddha stayed with her husband Rajendra and their two children in the same locality.
A relative said they had left for the pilgrimage on February 1. The police said the accident took place around 4 pm on Saturday. Dhanashree is still fighting for her life at a government hospital in Pandharpur while Pratham succumbed to his injuries during treatment. The rest of the family members were declared dead before admission, said an official.
“The car was being driven by Suresh. It was allegedly going at a high speed because of which he lost control and crashed into the bus coming from the opposite direction,” a police officer said.
After the postmortem, the bodies reached Barve Nagar at 2 pm on Sunday.