Cyrus Mistry, co-passenger killed in car crash did not wear seat belts, over-speeding caused accident, say police

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Mumbai: Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry and a co-passenger killed in a car crash were not wearing seat belts, as per a preliminary probe, and over-speeding and the “error of judgement” by the driver caused the accident, a police official said.

According to a study by CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), among drivers and front-seat passengers, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45 per cent, and cut the risk of serious injury by 50 per cent.

Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected during a crash. People not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. More than three out of four people who are ejected during a fatal crash die from their injuries, the study adds.

Prima facie, the luxury car was speeding when the accident took place on Sunday afternoon, he said.

The Mercedes car covered a distance of 20 km in just nine minutes after crossing the Charoti check post in Maharashtra’s Palghar district, 120 km away from Mumbai, the official said on Sunday night.

The car hit a road divider on a bridge over the Surya river, killing Mistry (54) and Jahangir Pandole on the spot.

Mistry was returning to Mumbai from Ahmedabad when the tragedy struck at 2.30 pm.
The car was driven by Mumbai-based gynaecologist Anahita Pandole (55).

She and her husband Darius Pandole (60) were seriously injured in the accident.

“As per preliminary investigation, over-speeding and the error of judgement caused the car accident. Both the deceased were not wearing seat belts,” the official said.

“While analysing the footage captured by CCTV cameras at the Charoti check post, Palghar police found the car had crossed the check post at 2.21 pm and the accident took place 20 km ahead (in the direction of Mumbai),” he said.

This shows the car covered a distance of 20 km (from the check post) in just nine minutes, the official said, adding that the accident took place at 2.30 pm on the Surya river bridge.

Mistry and Jahangir Pandole were in the back seats. Darius Pandole was in the front seat and his wife Anahita Pandole was at the wheel, police said.

An eye-witness had said a woman was driving the car and tried to overtake another vehicle from the left side, but lost control and crashed into the road divider.

The bodies of Mistry and Jahangir Pandole were sent to the state-run J J Hospital in Mumbai for postmortem, the official said.

Jahangir Pandole was the brother of Darius Pandole, a former independent director of the Tata Group of companies.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who holds the home portfolio, has asked police to conduct a detailed investigation into the accident.

With inputs from agencies

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Cyrus Mistry, co-passenger killed in car crash did not wear seat belts, over-speeding caused accident, say police
Cyrus Mistry, co-passenger killed in car crash did not wear seat belts, over-speeding caused accident, say police
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