The spot on Tata-Kandra Road where Saurabh Das was killed on Friday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
A 35-year-old industrial employee, biking his way to work in Adityapur without helmet, was knocked down by a wayward mini-truck and crushed to death by a speeding dumper on Friday on the blood-stained Tata-Kandra freeway, which has seen four fatal accidents in a fortnight.
Police have seized the heavy vehicle and arrested its dumper, while the truck managed to escape. The body of Saurabh Das, a resident of Gamharia, 15km from Jamshedpur, has been sent to MGM Medical College in Dimna for post-mortem.
According to Adityapur assistant sub-inspector Islam Khan, the mishap took place around 10.30am when the newly widened artery was bustling with traffic.
“Tata-Kandra Road offers two up lanes and two down lanes. The mini-truck was hurtling down the wrong lane when it hit the biker coming from the opposite direction. As he lost balance and fell off the two-wheeler, a dumper that was on the right lane, but speeding, ran him over from behind,” the officer, investigating the accident, said.
Passers-by hailed an ambulance of Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Company Limited (JARDCL), which is implementing the Tata-Kandra project, and rushed the youth to MGM Medical College and Hospital in Sakchi, some 12km away. Doctors at the emergency declared the victim brought dead.
ASI Khan conceded that Das was not wearing a helmet and died of head injuries. However, given the nature of the accident, it is difficult to say whether he would have survived even with one on.
Local residents claim the Tata-Kandra four-lane is cursed. Friday’s was the fourth fatal mishap in two weeks.
On May 2, a 25-year-old biker had rammed into a dumper near Beko More on the expressway. He later succumbed to his injuries at MGM Medical College and Hospital.
On April 27, two persons were killed on the spot and as many were injured when the car they were travelling in hit a stationary truck near the Adityapur Toll Bridge crossing.
Rough statistics show that ever since the Tata-Kandra Road was widened into four lanes a year and a half ago, 186 people have died in accidents and more than 200 have suffered grievous injuries.
Seraikela-Kharsawan SP Madan Mohan Lal conceded that though traffic police were deputed at strategic locations along the road. “We are mulling stricter and sustained measures against rogue operators who speed and jump lanes, causing accidents,” he said.