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Old 17th August 2010, 20:07   #1
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Default Accident near Salem - Cousin and driver beaten up.

This happened on August 15th late night.

My cousin and wife had come to Bangalore from Cochin for a family function. They drove down (along with a hired driver) in their new Nissan Micra. Started on friday night from Cochin, reached BLR on saturday morning and planned to start back by 10AM on Sunday. Since they came to BLR first time after their marriage, they had to meet some of the friends and obviously, they were late to start. They heavy rains in the afternoon further delayed them and finally they were able to start only by 4-4.30 PM.

I tried my best to convince them to avoid night driving and start early morning the next day. But they both had to go to work the next day, so they just decided to start. I instructed them to call me once or twice in between (it's a habit which has been enforced by our parents right from much younger days when we used to go on bike trips). Around 10.00 PM i got a call from my SIL and thought that its just a casual call; but no, all i could hear is weeping!

A chill went down my spine the moment i heard that. I somehow managed to get her talking and all she could say was "car accident, people beating Sudhi (cousin) and driver". For one moment I was relieved greatly to know that nothing had happened to their lives. On asking, she said they were somewhere near Salem (Omallur i think) and their car was involved in an accident with an innova. Though there are no casualties / fatalities due to the accident, the people in the innova was beating them up. I asked her to disconnect the call and call up 100 and get the cops into the scene.

After about 2-3 mins i called back to check the situation. She said the 100 was not going through, but now there are more people at the scene and they have stopped the beating. I asked my wife to call her and keep talking to her, and called my cousins phone. He just picked up and said "nothing serious, I'll call you back" and disconnected. After sometime once my SIL came out of the shock, she told us what happened.

The innova was driving on the middle of the road, with not much space left on either side for a smooth overtake for any other vehicle. our driver flashed and the innova moved to the left slightly. taking this as consent to overtake, the driver started overtaking. once the car was halfway past the innova, they suddenly started moving towards the right. seeing this, the driver applied brakes, but the real wheel side of the innova hit the front wheel of the Micra, hard-braked, skidded and slammed into the median. Due to the impact, the right side rear wheel of the innova came off, and the right front tyre got punctured.

seeing this, my cousin pulled up the car to the road side. Even as they were parking, two people from the innova charged towards the driver, pulled him out and started beating him black and blue. Not a word spoken! When my brother tried to intervene, they turned towards him too. Within that time some locals gathered and some of the passing vehicles also stopped. But seeing that the situation is not good, all the vehicles just left the scene; no one offered any help.

Since the innova belonged to a local travels, the public support was with him and even the people gathered around much later were talking against my bro and driver (as if they were eye-witnesses). It was totally an unfriendly group of people who were just interested in beating them up rather than offering any help / settling the issue. All the while my SIL was sitting inside the car with all doors locked as instructed by my brother. I asked her to step out hoping that at least seeing that a lady is in the car, people will mellow down. But that dint work as the people were just plain aggressive adn the innova had no lady passengers. They wanted 10k to settle the issue. when my bro suggested that they call the police, the passengers in the innova picked up stones and threatened that before the police come, they will ensure that his car suffered equal or more amount of damage than their car.

Finally there was one guy who was slightly helpful (who also happened to be working with the same travels) who mediated and the issue was settled for 7000Rs. After reaching Cochin, my bro took the car to the service centre and they found that the rear shock absorber of the Micra is also broken and the front left wheel is mis-aligned. The front left fender, till the headlight has suffered lot of scratches and there is a big dent too. He's going for the insurance claim, but this being the first lot of Micra in cochin, they dont have the parts to be replaced and are waiting for them to be shipped from Chennai.

So all in all this trip proved to be a very costly affair for him for no fault of theirs, plus the agony they went through. My SIL has vowed not to travel by car anymore for any long distances. in fact they were supposed to come to BLR during the Navrathri holidays. Now she says, she'll walk from cochin if reqd, but never in a car and never ever in night.

the person who finally mediated the issue, accompanied my brother to an ATM to draw money. this is what the conversation they had on the way
Mr X: who was driving the car?
Bro : driver.
X : Did they beat you too or only the driver?
Bro: both of us.
X: its sad, but the people around here are like that. if there is an accident, they first beat up the people and talk later.

My bro or I am not sure of the truth in it, but his experience was that except this guy, none of the 25-30 peolpe who gathered were helpful / kind in nature. One of the reasons i am sharing this incident here is to find out what options do we have if at all any of us are unlucky to face a similar situation?
Have any of you've been through this kind of an experience? if yes, how did you came out of that with least amount of damage?
Does the highway police help?

What are the experiences of fellow-TBHPians who does a lot of highway travelling esp during night?

HVK sir - your advice / experience...
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Old 17th August 2010, 20:21   #2
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Sad to hear about the incident, but it's good that your bro is safe.
There is a thread on this site about the "must Takes" in a long drive. A baseball bat/stick/rod features in this list and now you know why. I don't advocate violence, but at times, it is handy to keep something at hand that one can use in self defence.
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Old 17th August 2010, 20:23   #3
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Very sorry to read about your brother.

I normally follow the suggestion that you gave your cousin. Avoid travel at night. We stop driving by around 07:00 p.m. and then start the next day. No use in compromising safety.
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Old 17th August 2010, 20:23   #4
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@Zennist - Hope your BIL was not affluent or had good accent in Thamizh. But again, that could've helped a bit that's all.

Did you try calling 100 from your home on behalf of your BIL or SIL? May be they would've been out of range?

Courage & calm are the only hopes in such situations. May be saying firmly that, "lets call up the cops as Micra & Innova needs to be covered under insurance for which FIR is required" kind of trick would've played a better role. But again this is yet another pathetic state of this country.

See another such incident from one our community friend - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...-accident.html (My Experiments With Truth - Road Accident)

I feel sorry for what your relatives had experienced.
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Old 17th August 2010, 20:43   #5
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Zennist, though I'm against hit and run, this is a perfect recipe for disaster.
Late night, micra vs innova, lady in micra and goons in innova.
Why the hell did he stop?
The innova couldn't have chased you. Ideally speaking, in such cases, move to the nearest village and lodge an FIR.
Then come back with the police to the accident spot.
Anyway, you people are safe.
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Old 17th August 2010, 21:08   #6
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sorry to hear this. But this is always dangerous.
Quote:
The innova was driving on the middle of the road, with not much space left on either side for a smooth overtake for any other vehicle. our driver flashed and the innova moved to the left slightly. taking this as consent to overtake, the driver started overtaking. once the car was halfway past the innova, they suddenly started moving towards the right.
And beleive me, it may be the micra drivers fault too. Extreme caution is needed in such case. Especially on roads like GQ.

Sametime I am not justifying its right action from Innova guys. That's something to be condemned.

As others mentioned, yes, should have tried for police. Again, we can comment sitting here and typing. Its not easy to decide and implement right on spot.

Anyway, good to hear all are safe.
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Old 17th August 2010, 21:17   #7
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It is a better option to call 108 than 100 as it is more responsive and easy to get through for all emergency services especially in states where EMRI is operational.
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Old 17th August 2010, 21:21   #8
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Sad to know about this incident.

But night driving always has its own share of risks.

We always avoid night drives.
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Old 17th August 2010, 22:08   #9
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Very sad to hear about the experience of your relatives

I totally agree with MX6.. With even the slightest hint of the situation turning hostile, and the strength of people in the other car being more than your own, its best not to stop at all. Best to go to the nearest town, meet the police and return back with the cops. The cops are another story where they will try and swindle money from both sides probably but still you are spared the mental and physical agony of having to deal with a rowdy crowd.

Glad to know that your relatives are safe. It will take quite some talking & coaxing your SIL to make her feel comfortable to travel in the car again.

EDIT: +1 to srikanth's post. 108 is very responsive to emergency situations and is a better bet than trying 100

Last edited by abhinav.s : 17th August 2010 at 22:10.
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Old 17th August 2010, 22:15   #10
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You were very, very lucky that your car did not get damaged and any of you hurt. Very clearly, the Innova was at fault, but on the highway, it does not matter who is right or wrong, it is the local who is always on the offensive. I think it was sensible you settled and got away without any complications. Had you involved the cops, it would have been worse, TN cops especially love KL cars! I think this would have happened regardless of whether it is day or night. I have had similar situation before on Pune-Satara road when a Maruti 800 nosed his way in that way, and crashed onto the median, but I simply ignored him and sped away. Today evening, in the city, I had a similar encounter with a mobike. Road rage is inevitable, it was just your bad luck that you got beaten up. It can happen anywhere in India. I am not surprised at the apathy of passing motorists. Sometimes, the feeling that you are an outsider and defenceless may actually prevent the situation from becoming uglier once the attacker has vented his initial fury.

I hope that you get your spares soon, bad that it happened to a new car.
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Old 17th August 2010, 22:52   #11
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Pune-satara road a Biker banged me. Two buses were merging in to the NH4 and I realised that one of the notorious driver will obviously muscle his way in to my lane. So I slowed down from over 100 to 60. This biker tries to squeeze between me and the bus only to find my prediction coming true. The bus cuts ahead and this guy bangs my car to ensure he's not run over by the bus.
I drove for 1 or 2 kms more, pulled over and stopped
waited for 10 mins. Saw the bikers coming. Stopped them and asked them whether they were hurt.
Never stop in a place where other people will jump over and create chaos.
The bikers thanked me for slowing down, apologised for hitting my car (no scratches luckily). They finally said, "Sorry bhau. Bheja karab hogaya hamara".
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Old 17th August 2010, 23:16   #12
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He should not have stopped. After stopping all he got was beating at hands of rowdies and ended up paying 7k. The people who advocate that one should stop like a gentleman and expect the other party to behave like humans, have these people actually been involved in such a case?
Its rather easy to take a high moral ground and go on preaching especially if one has not actually gone through the ordeal. Flame me but I would rather be practical than an idealist.

Last edited by download2live : 17th August 2010 at 23:17.
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Old 18th August 2010, 00:09   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
@Zennist - Hope your BIL was not affluent or had good accent in Thamizh. But again, that could've helped a bit that's all.

Did you try calling 100 from your home on behalf of your BIL or SIL? May be they would've been out of range?
He did his BTech and MTech from Pondicherry and Chennai respectively. So he speaks Tamil as good as a native speaker. Wonder what would've happened if langauge was also not on his side.
I thought about calling 100 from my phone, but was not sure if it makes sense or not, cos they were near Salem and I was at Bangalore. Can it help anyway? will the cops takes the pain to inform the respective station / patrol team?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeDrive View Post
Very sorry to read about your brother.
I normally follow the suggestion that you gave your cousin. Avoid travel at night. We stop driving by around 07:00 p.m. and then start the next day. No use in compromising safety.
I asked him to avoid night driving mainly because of his inexperience in the same. If it was only my bro and SIL, i would never have let them go. since there was a driver present i hesitantly agreed. But seems like it had to happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Zennist, though I'm against hit and run, this is a perfect recipe for disaster.
Late night, micra vs innova, lady in micra and goons in innova.
Why the hell did he stop?
As i've mentioned above, his inexperience counted i suppose. Seeing what happened, he must've stopped to offer help without realising that he's inviting trouble.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
sorry to hear this. But this is always dangerous.
And beleive me, it may be the micra drivers fault too. Extreme caution is needed in such case. Especially on roads like GQ.
Sametime I am not justifying its right action from Innova guys. That's something to be condemned.
Since i did not witness it, i am not sure if there was some misjudgement on the drivers side. But from what they told me, this was totally unexpected as they were cruising smoothly. They flashed, innova moved to the left, they continued on the right lane and started crossing the innova. Then suddenly, dont know for what joy, he decided to move back into the right lane...and Bam!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
It is a better option to call 108 than 100 as it is more responsive and easy to get through for all emergency services especially in states where EMRI is operational.
This info is really useful. Will keep in mind, Thank you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I am not surprised at the apathy of passing motorists. Sometimes, the feeling that you are an outsider and defenceless may actually prevent the situation from becoming uglier once the attacker has vented his initial fury.
When i think about it, i feel that i too would've done the same if i was passing by such a scene. I am not complaining that others dint help; just worried about the realisation that you are on your own if something like this happens. In this case everyone around seemed to be taking advantage of the fact that one party is an outsider and other a local.

Anyways, thank you all for the wishes. I'll update about the car, the extent of damage and cost involved once i get some info.
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Old 18th August 2010, 00:12   #14
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@ ZENnist - hired drivers sometime practice point and shoot driving - point at a gap and shoot your car towards that gap.
They never ever have any care towards your car.
Never have a hired driver (hired by the hour/day) touch your car. I myself practice that.

As for the Accident - if your party was not guilty, they should not have stopped. This is not USA. This is India. If you hit a goat on road people demand 10000/-, and god save you if you hit people. No one remembers that NH is not a place for herding goats or jaywalking, and goons appear out of nowhere to extract money out of you.
Never ever stop after hitting anything/anyone anywhere in India unless you are bogged down by traffic.

Last edited by blackasta : 18th August 2010 at 00:13.
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Old 18th August 2010, 00:20   #15
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This is really bad. Good that every one was safe. The best run to the nearest police station and return with the police. Else no one listens.
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