Pune-based builder and businessman D S Kulkarni had a narrow escape after his car met with an accident on Wednesday night.
A container coming from the opposite direction crushed his car after breaking and crossing over the divider on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, near Khandala. His driver died on the spot and Kulkarni (66), who was sitting in the backseat, sustained fractures on the ribs.
The accident took place around 11 pm on Wednesday, near the Khandala exit on Expressway, which has a slope and and sharp turn. The driver of the Land Cruiser, identified as Neeraj Ramkaran Singh (37), a resident of Bopkhel, died on the spot due to severe injuries.
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Kulkarni, who was sitting in the back seat, had three fractures on the ribs on the left and minor injuries to his face. One more passenger in the car, Kiran Kate, who was sitting in the seat next to the driver, was unhurt as the container hit the car from the driver’s side. Kulkarni was travelling to Pune from Mumbai and the container, which was not loaded, was going from Pune towards Mumbai, police said.
The driver of the container, registration number MH-46-AR-0464, fled and later abandoned the vehicle near Khalapur. The container has been seized by the police. Sub inspector Balaji Gaikwad of the Lonavala Town police station said, “The impact was such that the car was completely disfigured from the driver’s side. We have started a probe to identify the driver of the container. A case of rash driving causing death due to negligence has been registered.”
Minutes after the accident, Kulkarni was rushed to Lokmanya Hospital in Nigdi by an ambulance of the IRB company. Later, on Thursday afternoon, he was moved to Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital for further treatment.
In a statement issued through social media, Kulkarni said, “I have minor injuries on the ribs and I am completely out of danger. The reports about me being critical are wrong. I will soon join work.” He added, “I have lost a colleague who had been working with me for over 16 years. My first job will be to ensure justice to Neeraj and his family. This road has taken several lives till now. I will start my fight for the issue once I get better.” Kulkarni is the chairman of the DSK Group, which is into real estate and construction, automobile, information technology, robotics and automation. The group also owns a football club.