A 65-year-old senior citizen who was riding pillion on his daughter’s bike was crushed to death by a truck. The incident occurred when the bike skidded while the woman was trying to avoid potholes on Kamvari River Bridge near Nadi Naka in Bhiwandi on Sunday.
The two were on their way to a workshop to get a Ganesha idol home and also to buy decorative materials for the upcoming Ganeshotsav.
The deceased has been identified as Ashok Gurunath Kabadi, a retired worker in a mill, and the injured daughter, Aditi Gurunath Kabadi (25), residents of Kawad village, Bhiwandi. He lived with his wife, daughter, son and daughter-in-law.
Kabadi worked at Vishwabharati clothes mill in Bhiwandi till his retirement. Aditi is a teacher and also gives private tuitions.
Kabadi’s son, Anil, told Hindustan Times, “Aditi’s school is far from our home in a remote village. She goes all the way to teach the students and therefore I got the bike for her. On Sunday, the two left home to get our Ganesha idol from Shelar village in Bhiwandi. When they reached the workshop, the artist told them that he still had to paint the idol and asked them to come after an hour-and-a-half. The two then decided to explore the market to purchase some decorative items for the festival.”
It was on their way to the market that the tragedy occurred. The incident took place at Kamvari Bridge, also known as Nadi Naka Bridge, near the Nizampura police chowki. Aditi realised that the bridge had huge craters and slowed down to avoid them. However, the bike skidded while she was trying to avoid one of the potholes and her father fell and was crushed by a truck approaching from behind.
Aditi said, “It was raining heavily and the bridge had many craters. I was riding the bike very carefully as my father was behind. When I slowed down to avoid a pothole, a truck came at a speed from behind and dashed us. My father was crushed under the wheels while I fell on the right side and escaped with minor injuries.
The truck driver, Dinkar Girja Pakale (50), a resident of Khoni village in Bhiwandi was arrested after the accident.
The Kabadi family has been having a Ganesha idol for the festival every year for over six-and-a-half decades.
Anil added, “My father was a humble and polite person, and popular in the village. Many villagers used to visit our house during the Ganeshotsav to take blessings of the Lord and, thus, my father was particular about decorations and arrangements for the same, which were all done well in advance. He was healthy. We cannot come to terms with his sudden loss.”
The residents have, time and again, complained of potholes on the bridge.
Hemant Shukla, 34, a resident of Bhiwandi, said, “The entire bridge is full of potholes and we have been complaining since the onset of the monsoon. Many loose pebbles also were spread on the road after it rained on Sunday, making driving difficult for the motorists.”
Anil Pawar, PWD officer, Bhiwandi, said, “We filled the potholes with pebbles and concrete during the heavy rain. Once the rain stops, we will be filling the bridge with bitumen after removing the old surface. The road will be repaired before the upcoming Ganeshotsav.”