THREE RESIDENT doctors from AIIMS died and four of their colleagues were injured when their car hit a truck carrying metal pipes on the Yamuna Expressway on Sunday. The dead have been identified as Harshad Wankhede (34), who was driving the car, Yashpreet Singh (25), who was sitting beside him and Himbala (25), who was sitting in the back seat. Police said the incident took place around 2.30-3 am, around 8 km before the Mathura toll plaza. The doctors were heading to Agra to celebrate Wankhede’s birthday, police said.
According to police, even as the airbags of the Toyota Innova inflated on impact, metal pipes from the truck broke the windscreen and pierced the victims.
“Himbala was sitting in the middle in the backseat. She was thrown forward when the car hit the truck. The pipes went through the skulls of two people and the liver and spleen of the third person,” said Mathura SP (RA) Aditya Kumar Shukla. He added, “There were seven people in the car. Of them, three died on the spot. The other four were transferred to AIIMS after initial treatment at a hospital in Mathura.”
“Among the injured, Dr Catherine Halam from Tripura has sustained head injuries while the others — Jitendra Maurya, Mahesh Kumar and Abhinava Singh — have sustained injuries to their limbs,” Shukla said. He also said that the driver and helper of the truck abandoned the vehicle and fled the spot. Police said they are trying to trace the owner of the truck.
“It is possible that Dr Wankhede, who was driving the car, had fallen asleep. The car seems to have been moving at a high speed before it rammed the truck. An FIR under IPC sections 304A and rash driving has been registered at Surir police station on the basis of a family member’s complaint,” Shukla said.
In an official statement, AIIMS said the four doctors who were injured “were shifted to Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC), AIIMS, New Delhi at 9.30 am for further treatment”. The statement added that Dr Catherine Halam has suffered a hip dislocation and maxillary sinus fracture; Kumar fractured his ribs; Singh sustained a spinal fracture and Maurya suffered a left acetabular fracture.