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Cyrus Mistry accident: initial probe says car was at 130-140 kmph – Times of India

MUMBAI: The deaths of former Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry and his friend Jehangir Pandole were caused by “severe head trauma and multiple external and internal injuries to vital organs”, their autopsies found. The two, sitting on the rear seat of a Mercedes SUV, died almost instantly after the car crash on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad National Highway on Sunday.
A provisional autopsy report prepared at a state-run hospital in Palghar says Mistry suffered a head injury, which led to a haemorrhage (heavy bleeding), besides a severe chest injury. The report will be finalised once chemical analysis findings are submitted.
A preliminary report on the accident at Charoti in Palghar district mentions speeding and an error of judgment as reasons for the crash.
Konkan range inspector general of police Sanjay Mohite on Monday submitted the interim report to state director general of police Rajneesh Seth. Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had on Sunday ordered a high-level inquiry into the accident.
A senior official told TOI that the condition of the SUV indicates it could have been travelling at 130-140 kmph. The official said the manufacturer, Mercedes Benz, will be consulted to assess exact speed at the time of the accident. “The impact was so huge that the radiator of the vehicle was not only completely smashed, it was pushed at least two to three feet inside,” the official said.
A police officer said the maximum speed limit set on the highway in the Palghar district stretch is 80 kmph (it is otherwise 100 kmph on national highways). He said even if the car was at 90 kmph, it would be a case of overspeeding. Mercedes Benz officials will be asked to inspect the spot and the SUV’s wreckage before a report is finalised on the exact speed at the time of the accident, said the official.
Police officials said prima facie it appears that the driver Anahita Pandole may have made an error of judgment when the road narrowed from three lanes to two over the Surya river bridge. The driver is likely to have lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the railing of the bridge, the police officer said.
Mistry (54) and Jehangir (49), who were in the rear, were not wearing their seat belts, a preliminary probe has established. Their airbags opened up but their heads hit front seats as they had not buckled up. Anahita and her husband Darius were wearing seat belts. They survived and are being treated at the HN Reliance Foundation hospital in Mumbai. A blood sample of Anahita has also been collected to verify if she was driving under the influence of alcohol, said police.
The time of accident has been recorded as 2.45pm. Information about the accident was communicated to the emergency helpline number 112 at 2.55pm. A beat marshal reached the accident spot at 3.10pm and the victims were moved to the Kasa government hospital. Mistry and Jehangir were brought dead.
A CCTV grab at the Dapchari toll naka on the Maharashtra-Gujarat border has captured the car entering the state at 2.10pm. At 2.12pm, it leaves the toll gate and gets on to the highway towards Charoti. Distance to Charoti is around 25 kms. Going by the timeline recorded by highway traffic police at Charoti, the car took about 30 minutes to cover the distance, which is the average time a vehicle would take to cross the distance. The car crashed into the railing of the old Surya river bridge, around 500 meters away from Charoti toll naka.
Regional transport office officials who visited the spot said the vehicle, a 2018 make, seemed to be in good condition before the crash.