Yet again, seat belt saved a life. But, for the decision to fasten the seat belt, Maganti Ramapadma Kalyan could not have survived a car crash in which three of his friends died on the spot at Karmanghat.
“Seeing that Madupati Vinayaka Malikarjun was driving at high speed, Kalyan decided to fasten the seat belt midway. His presence of mind even under the influence of alcohol saved his life,” said Saroornagar inspector E. Srinivas Reddy.
Speaking to The Hindu at Osmania General Hospital, where the bodies of the three victims were shifted for autopsy, Mr. Reddy said that Kalyan escaped with minor injuries.
“The retractor mechanism in the belt won’t allow the passenger to move during sudden jerks. I believe the other lives could also have been saved had they fastened the belt,” the police officer said.
Ten minutes before the accident, Pebba Sainath informed his mother that he was just a few minutes away from home. “Since he did not return home till late night, my sister-in-law Rajeshwari called Sainath inquiring about his whereabouts,” said Sainath’s uncle Prabhakar.
In less than an hour after talking to her son, Ms. Rajeshwari got another call from his friends about the accident. “She was distraught on hearing about the untimely death of her son,” he said.
The accident spot at Karmanghat was hardly two kilometres from Sainath’s house in Saidabad.
Around 3 a.m., Vinayaka’s mother Madupati Shyamala received a phone call from Saroornagar police informing her about the accident involving a car registered in her name.
“She came to my house in Trimulgherry to see our father and decided to stay for the night. She came to my room in a hurry and told me about the incident and we both rushed only to know about the death of my nephew,” said Vinayaka’s uncle K. Sampath Kumar.
Vinayaka, a techie with Accenture, got married to Niharika, a doctor, in August 2018. “He was a very gentle and soft-spoken person,” Mr. Kumar said.
Lacchiram Naik, Daravat Sriram Naik’s father, was on a pilgrimage to Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh when he received the call about his son’s death. “He went there for Sivaratri and is returning to Hyderabad now,” said Sairam’s relatives gathered at OGH.