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Old 21st February 2008, 18:31   #1
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Default Horrific accident in the GQ between Chennai-Bangalore

I had witnessed a real horrific accident on the GQ few days before. I was in such a shock that I couldn't even think of writing this for the past few days. What happened is as follows.

I was on my way to a place near Vellore. Was driving down alone. That day there was this big political meeting in Vellore. Due to this at every small town there was a jam as the local small politicians decided to hail the rulers RIGHT ON THE HIGHWAY with banners, arches and numerous followers blocking the movement of vehicles. As I crossed some towns the traffic started ease up and every driver was accelerating as much as they could. Was a lovely drive after that.

There was this SUV that I overtook few times between the villages. I was going at around 120Kmph. At one point this happened. He went past me in full throttle and must be touching speeds above 130kmph. I let him overtake and moved to the left lane. I could see him disappearing in the distance. The road was turning right into a flyover and he was few couple of hundred metres ahead of me. I could see a lady crossing the road and she was almost in the middle of the right lane. May be this guy didn't see her. Then suddenly he steered to his left but unfortunately the lady got scared and started reversing and the SUV guy cut right and very terribly he hit her.

The next moment it was extremely horrible. The lady was thrown up in the air several meters above and I could see lot of things scattering all over (may be the things that she carried or her limbs or whatever). She flew and hit the road very hard. I started braking real hard. My pulse increased and I panicked. I steered as much left as I could and entered the 3rd lane which is the left most that started just before the flyover. I couldn't even look at her. I was feeling very uneasy and shattered.

I stopped the car some distance ahead of the accident spot. That place was not a village or town but there was one nearby in the interiors I suppose. I was not sure what to do and was contemplating running towards that lady. But the imagination was itself very scary. I saw the SUV guy disappear very fast in front of me. His airbags didn't deploy I guess and he accelerated and was almost disappearing.

I looked in the rear view mirror and 2 men who were walking on the side converged on the spot. I tried to dial 100 and 103 but it didn't go through. I decided to go and find the ambulance number. When I exited the next village I saw the ambulance number on the information board. Immediately called up the ambulance and the patrol van and informed of what happened. I gave them all the details they asked for and more and urged to send people immediately for rescue.

After that I couldn't drive at all and was too stressed up. Somehow managed to reach my destination. Even after few days whenever I see some one crossing the road my mind rewinds to that accident. Couldn't yet come out of it.

Who can one fault ? It was a pedestrian crossing where the lady crossed. A pedestrian crossing on the highway without any warning signs or signal!! What a design!! She could have even jumped towards the median but she appeared old with some Grey hair (may be above 50). I could see the lady crossing from at least 200 metres behind but the SUV guy reacted only in the last moment. May be he didn't see or he assumed the lady would cross comfortably and not reverse back. His speed was very high and stopping could have been impossible from when he started reacting.He didn't have any sense or experience in driving or he was plain stupid & arrogant. Can only speculate. But the damage was done.

After few days when I called up the patrol van number and asked about what happened to the woman they said they are not aware of the accident! Should I have done something more. I am feeling low...

Edit: PS: I have not published the vehicle details just to avoid any issues. Hope that is sensible.

Last edited by LandCruiser : 21st February 2008 at 18:38.
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Old 21st February 2008, 18:44   #2
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So shocking..

You did the right thing by calling for help as you could not have helped unless you are a medico your self.
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Old 21st February 2008, 18:46   #3
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My God! That is a harrowing experience. I can well imagine what you must have gone through. Do you think there was any chance of her surviving? I doubt it. Man, just reading it made my skin crawl.
Do something different, like go and see a movie, go out with your family to dinner, and maybe that will help you forget this trauma.
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Old 21st February 2008, 18:48   #4
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A very tragic accident!

Not sure who is to be blamed, the NHAI for constructing Expressways without proper pedestrian crossings (should be overbridge or underground crossing on such expressways), the SUV driver who thought he was cruising on the AutoBahn, the lady for the misjudgement in crossing the speedy highway.

Hope we can learn a lesson here & drive sensibly even on the so called Expressways!

Last edited by finneyp : 21st February 2008 at 18:53.
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Old 21st February 2008, 18:51   #5
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You are right Finney. We all need to be careful, pedestrians as well as drivers. Its risky to depend on signs to tell us what to be prepared for.
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Old 21st February 2008, 18:55   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandCruiser View Post
I could see a lady crossing the road and she was almost in the middle of the right lane. May be this guy didn't see her. Then suddenly he steered to his left but unfortunately the lady got scared and started reversing and the SUV guy cut right and very terribly he hit her.

[...]
I assume this lady was a villager? Tamil Nadu village women are notoriously unpredictable, panicky and downright stupid when it comes to crossing the road. My father used to warn me repeatedly not to accelerate just because the woman has crossed more than 50% of the road. There is every possibility that the woman will see some vehicle in the distance and come running back to your side.

I remember a company bus driver in Chennai in the 1980's who had to drive 25 kms to the outskirts to drop employees (including me). Whenever a village woman crosses the road, making him brake (which happened with monotonous regularity), he will let out the following sequence of curses, with his hand pointed to the woman: "SHANIYENNAE" [pause]; "shaniyennae, shaniyennae, shaniyennae.....". (to non-tamilians, "shanniyen" means essentially, "cursed woman" or some such thing). It used to be so funny seeing the frustration of the driver.
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Edit: PS: I have not published the vehicle details just to avoid any issues. Hope that is sensible.
Hope you reported the details to the police.
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Old 21st February 2008, 19:13   #7
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I can imagine what you might have gone through. It is difficult to remain calm just reading your post, let alone being in the position you were. Take some time off. Watch a comedy movie, or play with a small kid, or just divert your mind from that traumatic experience.

It is a lesson for many of us to stick to reasonable speed limits on our highways.
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Old 21st February 2008, 19:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks View Post
I assume this lady was a villager? Tamil Nadu village women are notoriously unpredictable, panicky and downright stupid when it comes to crossing the road.

This is a phenomemon common to every place/state in india. I had experienced this first hand during my trip recently through tamil nadu & kerala.

people would just walk to the other side of the road without looking for traffic.once you honk they realise & you see kathakali in the middle of the road before they turn back.

Last edited by ad75 : 21st February 2008 at 19:23.
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Old 21st February 2008, 19:32   #9
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Ouch !!! That caused me jitters while reading this my friend !!!

I guess it was just a bad day for you and for everyone else involved. The way you narrated the incident, looks like no one's fault in particular here.

Poor Lady !! God Bless her sole !! ( I assume she died then & there !! )

Just shows us how stupid our Crossings are & how unsafe the highways are - both for pedestrians & for car drivers.
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Old 21st February 2008, 19:37   #10
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LC I can imagine what you would have gone through mate. During my trip last weekend I was a witness to a head on collision between a biker and a canter on my way back from Hoganekkal in TN.

I saw the accident happen about 200-300 mtrs right in front of my car and was so helpless.
We pulled over , but there was nothing that we could do to save him since his head was shattered on impact.

It was the bikers mistake as he veered too much to right into the oncoming truck. Wasn't wearing a helmet too.
I think you did what best you could by calling the cops and letting them know.
No-one is to blame here, old people cant really judge the speed of the approaching vehicle and end up in a tight spot leading to such accidents.

Leave it behind and move on. You and I cant change things in this country rather than play the blame game.
The best one can do is drive safe and watch out and avoid the worst.
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Old 21st February 2008, 19:47   #11
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I would suggest that you get back onto your routine and try not to think much about it, the more you involve yourself into your daily chores the easier it would be to fade the memories.

And you rightly said, we can only speculate on the conditions under which this happenned.

Crossing like this on the GQ is asking for trouble and then with a SUV driving at 130 its even more difficult to control and maneuver, a sedan probably can be better controlled but not without its own risk.

Human life is precious than anything else but under such conditions its very difficult to judge on who was wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LandCruiser View Post
Who can one fault ? It was a pedestrian crossing where the lady crossed. A pedestrian crossing on the highway without any warning signs or signal!! What a design!! She could have even jumped towards the median but she appeared old with some Grey hair (may be above 50). I could see the lady crossing from at least 200 metres behind but the SUV guy reacted only in the last moment. May be he didn't see or he assumed the lady would cross comfortably and not reverse back. His speed was very high and stopping could have been impossible from when he started reacting.He didn't have any sense or experience in driving or he was plain stupid & arrogant. Can only speculate. But the damage was done.
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Old 21st February 2008, 20:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
I guess it was just a bad day for you and for everyone else involved. The way you narrated the incident, looks like no one's fault in particular here.

Just shows us how stupid our Crossings are & how unsafe the highways are - both for pedestrians & for car drivers.
Who uses pedestrian crossings on highways? (everyday, I almost swipe someone or the other in the Eastern Expressway in Bombay just under the overbridge built for pedestrians to cross over, but which is never used)Why do pedestrians behave as though they are immortal? Why are car drivers always blamed for such accidents? Are drivers God? Blaming drivers for such accidents (if the SUV had stopped he would have been lynched by the mob and jailed for no fault of his) is hiding the real problem - everyone has to take due care on the roda, whether it is the highway or the city roads? Calling teh driver rash or over-speeding obscures the real problem.
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Old 21st February 2008, 20:08   #13
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From what I read, the SUV driver was at fault. You saw the woman in the road, he should have done. He should have slowed.

But hey! second-hand judgement.

I'd probably get all worked up about this, and make a big fuss with the police, making sure that an FIR was filed, and feeling really bad about this guy walking away from killing someone. Then I'd be involved, maybe find myself somehow in more trouble than the driver --- especially of some political person might have been in the car. And wouldn't bring anyone back to life; maybe it wouldn't do anything for the family either.

Anyway... you are going to have to accept that the mental and emotional scar of this event is going to be with you for a while. No movie is going to wipe away that sight. Accepting this can make it easier for you to live with, because you won't struggle to suppress the memory. Time heals --- in the end. Having talked about it helps too.

That's my amateur psychology for the day, for what its worth. Hope it helps.
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Old 21st February 2008, 20:09   #14
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I guess this happened on last saturday? I was going to blore and i saw so much commotion all the way for the political gathering which was to take place.

Seeing the aftermath of an accident can churn one's stomach... seeing one taking place is even more traumatising.

I regularly use the GQ when i drive down to blore and i have seen trucks and bikers frequently driving on the wrong side... heck most of the time in the fast lane too.

Once when i was returning to Chennai on the GQ there was this crazed out biker on his TVS 50 / champ. He was in the oncoming lane, on the other side of the divider and wanted to enter a by-lane. All he did was blast onto the lane i was driving in (the wrong side and in the fast lane).
I braked hard and went off the road. Luckily no milestone or markers were present. Stopped the car and got out to see this @#$%*^ had actually pulled off this stunt to reach a beedi shop.

I normally cruise at 120-130 kmph on this stretch, but experience has taught me to slow down at each and every sight of tire marks left by trucks or other vehicles. I also slow down when i approach gap's in the medians.

My suggestion to the govt would be to erect dividers which are at least 6 feet tall. They should be made of reincorced steel and concrete. Advantage in this is that headlights of oncoming vehicles would not be glaring and dog's and cattle wont be crossing the road.

At most stretches the existing dividers are broken to make way for an auto or a cycle to pass thru. These people want to avoid taking a longer ride and a subsequent U-turn.

Take a break LC. you did what you could to get help for the victim. Go out with your family. That will probably help you get in terms with this ghastly situation.

BTW, i wonder if the SUV driver did see the woman, would be have been able to stop the heavy thing in time.

Last edited by n_aditya : 21st February 2008 at 20:18.
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Old 21st February 2008, 20:18   #15
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Accidents happen. Just take care. There was this small road which we were driving on from Mechari to Pennagram. I mean you can't even rip on it and on that I saw a guy runover by God knows what vehicle.. that too inside a village !!!

Folks, watchout near Hosur nowadays. The bus stand has been temporarily shifted out from under the Hosur overbridge to somewhere near the Rennaissance hotel. Result: Lot of buses on the road occupying one lane. Lot of people movement, wrong side driving etc etc.

Just keep a watchout.

Aditya, very true ! Your tips are exactly the same things that I follow on the GQ. Also, if the road is empty I generally drive in the middle. Two tyres on the left lane and two on the right lane. I know it sounds silly but I have time to react with respect to dogs, two wheelers etc who can barge in from a side road or from median breaks.
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