The dust was yet to settle near the Urse toll plaza on the Mumbai-Pune expressway following the deaths of two Marathi actors and a child recently when the ignominious stretch claimed another life on Wednesday morning.
This was the third accident in 10 days near the toll plaza.
VP Gopal, a senior official of Atlas Copco, was on his way to the company’s Pune office from his home in Ghodbandar in Thane on Wednesday. As he neared the Urse toll plaza around 7.45am, a front tyre of the 58-year-old’s car burst. As he lost control of the vehicle, it swerved into the adjacent lane and crashed into a car heading to Mumbai from Pune, say the Talegaon police. There is no divider on that stretch of the expressway. The impact of the collision left both the cars badly damaged.
While Gopal was pronounced dead on arrival at Lokmanya Hospital in Nigdi , two occupants of the other car — Rochak Naresh Kohali and Dipti Rochak Kohali — were admitted to the intensive care unit with serious injuries.
The death of Gopal, who worked with Atlas Copco’s logistic department as a team leader for import and export, has left the staff in a state of shock.
Shalini Sharma, head of the corporate communication department, says, “He was associated with the company for over 30 years. He was staying with his family in Thane, but he often visited the Pune office. On Wednesday, too, he was on his way to the Pune office when the accident occurred.”
The stretches on either side of the toll plaza are laid straight due to which drivers tend to speed. Dividers on the expressway are either missing or are not high enough.