Well-known developer Vimal Kumar Jain (63) and four others died on the spot when a speeding water tanker rammed into his Mercedes car after hitting a motorcycle at Nigdi on the Pune-Mumbai highway around 2.30 pm on Tuesday. Jain, who is the director of real estate development firm Kumar Properties, was on his way to Mumbai for some work with real-estate broker Sampat Ingle (48) of Walvekarnagar and citybased builder Shreeram Sapre (50).
While Ingle and the driver, Mahendra Gawli (40) of Wanowrie, were killed along with Jain, Sapre was badly injured and has been admitted to a private hospital in Nigdi. The other two victims, Laxman Thakar (51) and his wife, Hausabai (45), were on their motorcycle when the tanker hit them first before ramming into Jain’s car. Residents of Milindnagar in Pimpri, the Thakars were going to Dehu road to meet their son.
Jain’s younger brother, Lalit Kumar Jain, is the chairman of Kumar Urban Development Limited (formerly Kumar Builders) and the president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI). According to the Nigdi police, the tanker was coming to Pimpri from Dehu road when the driver, Uttam Kamble (26), lost control on the on the Madhukar Pavale overbridge.
The tanker went over the road divider and hit the motorcycle and the car. Kamble fled after the accident. However, he surrendered before the Nigdi police later in the evening and was arrested. One Sunil Yadav, who saw the accident, told TOI that Kamble was driving recklessly.
“In an attempt to overtake a vehicle on the bridge, he lost control and crashed into the motorcycle and car,” he said. Senior police inspector Nandkishore Bhosale Patil of the Nigdi police station told TOI that the front portion of Jain’s car was trapped under the wheels of the tanker.
“It took us two hours to pull out the bodies of Gawli and Ingle, who were in the front seats. We summoned a crane, but it took time to reach the car as a large number of people had gathered at the spot,” he said. The fire-brigade and the rescue team of a private hospital helped the police in pulling out the bodies. City Congress chief Abhay Chhajed, who went to the Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital (YCMH) in Pimpri where the bodies were kept, said Jain is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.