Car crash on our way to airport

crash car 006Viewing this image you would not hold out much hope for its passengers. I wouldn’t,  either, had I not survived the crash. This was the vehicle in which my wife and I were going to the Bangalore airport to catch an early morning Dubai-bound flight. It happened near Bididi, nearly two hours after we had left Mysore,  at the dead of night.  Our vehicle  brushed  against a bitumen laden truck,  taking a ‘U’turn on a high-speed highway.

crash car 005We were at the rear-seat, asleep. I didn’t know what hit us, as I woke up to the crash; my wife had passed out on impact.  Stranded on a highway in pitch darkness, I felt futile and helpless. For a few agonised minutes I believed it was all over, as my wife wouldn’t respond to my frantic calls, and efforts to shake her awake.

It must have been minutes,  but seemed an eternity, before my wife  regained consciousness.  She was dazed, and kept asking what had happened, and why, and where we were heading , what for. Whatever I told her didn’t register, for she kept repeating the same questions, to a point when I lost patience. I found myself utterly at a loss as what to do next.

Our driver Mahadevan knew the drill. He informed his travel office in Mysore; called the police, and the ambulance service. Meanwhile a crowd gathered, even though it was past midnight.  Somewhat irritated at our becoming  a spectacle for curious passers-by, I gave vent to my frustration, asking the driver why he wouldn’t try to stop a passing vehicle to take my wife to hospital, instead of wasting time answering silly questions from inquisitive onookers.

I didn’t realise then that  Mahadevan, hurt and bleeding from his right ear, was doing his best, unmindful of his injury. I learnt later that he had a slashed ear. A few minutes later a policeman showed up on a bike,but there was no sign of ambulance.

Under stress I get clumsy at handling  things, even a cell phone. I managed to call co-brother Raghu in Mysore.  I had a credit card, but not much cash.  He called his co-brother Narsimhan in Bangalore, who was the first to turn up at the hospital at the crack of dawn. As it turned out, I didn’t need cash. The ambulance ride was free; and I used credit card at the hospital.  Incidentally, it came as a relief to learn that the Karnataka government has a free ambulance service in place on the Mysore-Bangalore highway. So dire was its need for me that I would have  readily paid a thousand rupees, if only I had the cash.

It was, I believe,  nearly half-hour ambulance ride to BGS Global hospital at Kengari. The approach road to an otherwise well-equipped hospital is bumpy, and bad for fracture cases. And the multi-speciality hospital,  located close to the highway receives mainly accident victims. I see repair of potholed  road to the hospital as a medical priority in critical care. 

Emergency service was prompt, and efficient. Dr Venkatesh who attended on my wife stitched up a nine-inch cut on her neck; had her right shoulder x-rayed for supected fracture; and kept up a conversation to calm our nerves.  At my request he agreed to take a call from my anxious daughter-in-law, a doctor in the US. I found Dr Venkatesh a multi-tasker with reassuring way with words in dealing with patients – the kind, I believe, would be an assset in any medical emergency room. I wonder why a hospital that has a well-functioning ER and claims to have world-class infrastructure, including helipad for air ambulance,  can’t fix its bumpy driveway.

crash car 008On our way back to Mysore, after a day in hospital, I stopped by to see,  for the first time, our damaged vehicle. The scale of damage may spell death for others. But I associate life,  my reality of it,  with that mangled mess on wheels, if only because my wife and I are still alive to see it. The image of the wrecked Sumo  tells me that at times a split-second or sheer hair-breadth is all that is there  between life and a pointless death.

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27 Responses

  1. Mr.Krishnan, this is so horrifying. It seems a miracle that both of you didn’t sustain more injuries. I hope you are coming out of the shock slowly. And have caring people around you to help you cope .
    Fortunate that your driver was able to manage things and the availability of an ambulance and good hospital with good docs closeby.
    Wishing you recovery soon. Please pass on my regards to your wife.

  2. Thank God things turned out well eventually and no further injuries. I hope your wife and you are recovering well. I hope the driver is recovering well too. Terrible incident indeed. Please take rest.

  3. GVK,

    It must have been a terrifying moment at the dead of the night .How in a fleeting moment life can so totally change. Thank god all the three of you are alright.

    ERR

  4. Oh my goodness! I can’t imagine what you must have gone through.. And so glad that you all are ok… Wishing you a quick recovery..

    • Thank you, Smitha. I couldn’t , either , imagine that I went through it all, now that I look back on the run of events that dar night. My vulnerablity was exposed. I don’t know what I would have done without Mahadevan’s initiative.

  5. Thank God that you are blogging about it!

    Get well soon and I pray that all of you recover soon from this incident.

    • Thought of blogging about the nightmare when I happened to pass by the smashed Sumo on our way back to Mysore. Image of the wrecked vehicle set me thinking of several other possibilities, each worse than the other. I got a feeling that the photo of the mangled junk on wheels was my reality of life. That I was standing there to stare at, like so many other passers-by, and photograph the very vehicle in which I had travelled the previous night, represented a reality that I thought should be blogged about.

  6. There is a good night train service from Mysore to Bangalore.
    No need to use any private vehicle on dangerous highway linking Mysore-Bangalore. Never seen this highway, heard about it and its accidents. Trains are compartively safer even in India.

  7. How simply dreadfu! What a terrible thing to have happened. I do hope that you both are reccovering smoothly – a nine inch gash is not a small wound. Thank God that you had a resourceful driver who knew what to do.

    Hope you both get well soon.

  8. I read this with my heart in my mouth. I hope you are fine, and that your wife is fully recovered now, and Mahadevan is fine as well. Looking at the picture of the mangled vehicle gave me goosebumps.

    • You are right, Kamini. The pictures are shockers. I had this after-shock when got to see the vehicle the day after . I am fine; my travel agent says driver Mahadevan had his slashed right ear stitched up, would take a while to get back at the wheel. My wife is getting better.

  9. Oh, GVK
    that was terrible.
    I hope both of you are feeling better now and lets all thank almighty for keeping you safe..It is for this reason that I feel somewhat safer in trains.

    • It’s relatively safer, I agree. But train to airport is not an option, not yet. Not after Devanahalli came up.
      Thank you, Maddy.

  10. It is not that easy for you and Lakshmi to go without seeing us again in Millington. Glad you are getting over the shock and recovering well. Hope to see you both here soon.

    B.R. & Shamala Ramaprasad
    Millington, NJ
    US

  11. Actual miracle. Very very fortunate to end only with such physical damage considering the speed the vehicles move these days and the strength of the vehicle bodies. Nano hair-breadth you may like to add. That was how close it was. May He now give the fortitude to both of you [and also Mahadevan] to quickly get over the shock that would certainly have impacted on the mind. Such a thing will not happen again and so please be brave enough to travel like earlier. He will take care of you both. Wishing you both a speedy and smooth recovery.

    Dinakar

    • I could do with such reassurance, Mr Dinakar. You have rightly read my thoughts. We have resolved against night travel for now; and , as you have guessed, we need to get over this new-found apprehension of road travel. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  12. Hello Sir… I have been reading your blog for sometime… It was really horrifying to read this… I really appreciate GOD has been kind enough to keep the damage only to Vehicle and not you guys. I wish a speedy recovery for both your Wife, U and also to the driver.

    Wish a LONG LIFE for you Sir…

    Karthik, Bangalore, 99800 17105

    • Viewing the car wreck I felt thankful for having got away lightly, relatively speaking. I have conveyed your concern, and also that of many others, for the driver , and also your wishes for his early recovery, to his office manager at BIT travels, Mysore.

  13. What is the problem of hiring a car to go to the airport from Bangalore Rly station ? I am sure lesson will not be learnt after this incident. It is said the hospital mentioned was the work of an enterprsing surgeon who rightly guessed the mindset of car-bound travellers on this highway and is purely tailored to meet the trauma and accident cases. The hospital is set to expand its facilities keeping in mind the sale of thousands of cheap cars. The reason for the conditio of the road leading to the hospital is simple. The good surgeon expects most accidents would be serious necessitating the use of the helicopter. Neurosurgery indeed. Well, this surgeon is as enterprising as the InfoSys
    Murthy. As long as travellers stick to their cars, the fast train services to the airport will not happen.

  14. Glad you are safe.
    How did this happen? Reminded me of an accident we had few years ago.
    The hospital info you gave is useful, noted.

  15. From the look of it and the impact on our vehicle, it appeared the truck was edging into our lane for a ‘U” turn; and Mahadevan, in a bid to evade a head-on, swung the vehicle to our left. Apparantly, he couldn’t make it swiftly enough to stay clear of the heavy-duty truck that was intruding into our lane.

  16. Another miracle. Happy you came out of it – even more knowledgeable!
    We had had one near Hoskote on the Old Madras Road on May 4, 2004. (The only statistic I can share now – after 5 years is that the repairs cost was Rs 1.1 lakh – to indicate the extent of damage)

  17. oh my gosh!! its horrible that happened, and hope everyone is well now…..the photos do look scary…but am so glad nothing serious happened to anyone!!! Is the driver too ok now?? Stay safe!!!

  18. Namaste Krishnan Sir,
    God is Great ! So Horrifying the crash is! I wish you Speedy Recovery and please convey my regards to your wife. See you soon here!

  19. Yeah, I think this is really a bad thing for me, I think we want to care about this.

  20. Mr Krishnan, I’ve just read abt your accident and seen the horrific picture. I’m sorry that I did not know. You did not tell me either. I was re-reading your accoun t of us covering Rajiv Gandhi’s death and from there clicked my way along and found this. What a miracle that you are safe. Your account talks of injuries to Mrs Krishna, what abt you? What a nightmare

  21. […] Car crash on our way to airport May 2009 26 comments 5 […]

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