Monday, June 25, 2007

Death comes crashing

Death comes crashing
Sunday June 24 2007 10:28 IST

BANGALORE: All of a sudden two heavy branches of a large tree came crashing on the traffic of Queen’s Road on Saturday.

It took a few moments for the road users to register the impact of the fall.

And soon, chaos and fright engulfed the long stretch of the busy road.

Two huge branches of the 50- year-old mango tree snapped and fell onto a Maruti car and an auto rickshaw at 12.45 pm, killing one and injuring another travelling in the auto rickshaw.

The victim, V G Kulkarni (46), was an RTO Inspector and General Secretary of the the Karnataka Motor Vehicle Inspector Association, while the injured, K K Umesh Kumar is also a RTO officer posted in Mangalore.

“There was no noise. Branches suddenly came down over the bonnet of a car ahead and slid on the roof of my auto rickshaw. I never dreamed this would result in such a big tragedy,” said K Saravanan, the auto rickshaw driver still shaking with the horror he faced and escaped.

He met death at close quarters. “The two men had engaged my vehicle from Shivajinagar at 11.45 am and wanted to go to Koramangala BDA Complex,” said the driver.

“The first branch fell on the roof of the auto rickshaw, and the other fell on the backseat. The tree fell on his neck, which proved fatal. He died on the spot,” said an eye-witness.

While Umesh was rushed to Mallya Hospital, where doctors said that he had sustained a severe spinal cord injury and will require surgery.

“The injury is bad and he may be paralysed from neck to toe,” said a doctor.

Firemen, who rushed to the spot, cleared the tree. It is believed that the fallen branches had snapped in the gusty winds of the last few days and slid off on the traffic on Saturday. This explains the absence of loud noise when a massive branch is broken.

A tragic end: The wailing parents of V G Kulkarni could not believe their son is no more. They could not be consoled.

Kulkarni had got a transfer two months ago from Mangalore to Koppal, while his family was in Dharwad.

“He had come to the city on Thursday on official duty and met the commissioner on Friday. He was with me till 11 pm and I spoke to him on Saturday morning,” said a dismayed colleague of the deceased.

Kulkarni was on his way to enquire about a school admission for his son in Koramangala who is studying in 9th standard in Dharwad.

“He wanted to put his son in a boarding school and was going for that work. He had finished some works in MS Bulding and was on his way to Koramangala,” he said.

The grieving parents Sharda Bai and Govind Rao curse the tragic fate that has befallen their son.

“We were here in the city to attend a wedding. If I knew something like this would happen to my son, I’d have loved to die with him,” sobbed out Sharda Bai.

They are three sons and two daughters, while Kulkarni was in Koppal, his parents were in Ramdurga in Belgaum district and his other siblings were in Hubli.

According to family members, the deceased was to build a house for his parents in Hubli and wanted to take his parents abroad.

The body was later taken to Bowring Hospital, where the post mortem was done.


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