Mumbai, July 13: Panic drove a young sailor away from his mother, trapped in a mangled car where she bled to death leaving behind a son who will have to battle a sense of guilt all his life.
Mandabai Dongre, excited about learning driving from her son Vijay, couldn’t have imagined what lay ahead. The 50-year-old was found trapped inside the twisted metal that their Maruti 800 had become after hitting a power pole in Navi Mumbai’s Nerul early on Wednesday.
Vijay, 30, was arrested today from the house of his uncle Manik Bhor. Papers found in the car showed that Bhor was the owner. Vijay has been charged under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code with “causing death due to negligence”.
He was produced in a local court today.
Mandabai lived with Vijay, while her other son Ajay stayed with his father. The couple were divorced 10 years ago.
Initial investigations show that Vijay was teaching his mother to drive and they lost control when the car picked up speed. “The vehicle hit an electric pole,” said senior police inspector K.S. Bahure of Nerul police station.
Vijay, who works with a cruise liner, has told the police that he did not report the accident because he was without a licence at the time and feared being charged with driving without papers.
“He said he was very sorry for leaving his mother in the car. We do not suspect any foul play in the case,” the police inspector said. Still, Vijay was required to turn himself in after the crash.
Vijay has told the police the accident left him so shocked, he did not know what to do. He claimed that he tried to pull his mother out, but lost consciousness when he went looking for help. When he returned to the crash site, he found both the car and his mother missing.
Brother Ajay seemed convinced.
“He (Vijay) had injuries in his shoulder, head and ears. He could have saved our mother, but he’s saying he fainted. I believe him.”
Vijay claimed Mandabai’s body from the Navi Mumbai civic hospital. The family was present when her last rites were performed.
The hospital said Mandabai died of multiple injuries, but the police are being blamed for their slow response. Information about the accident reached their control room around 1am, but officers arrived at the spot at 6.15am. The body was taken out around 7am. Few accident victims can survive if left unattended that long.