In a fuzzy yet chilling account of the last few seconds before the horrific crash near the New Town Convention Centre and the moments that followed, Sarbjyot told TOI how the car had spun out of control and how he had managed to crawl out of the mangled car after the accident.
“I don’t know when I had dozed off. It must have been somewhere in Salt Lake Sector V. I woke up suddenly as the car zig-zagged on the road. For a split second, I saw death in the face. I have very little memory of how the accident actually happened. I recall managing to crawl out of the mangled car. I don’t even remember what had happened 30 minutes after the accident. I think I am too lucky to be alive today. I was bleeding from the head but I don’t know if I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance or a police jeep,” he said a day after the crash.
Sarbjyot though has perfect recall of the hours before the accident. He had gone over to Mohit Jain’s house to party around 10.30pm. A third friend was there but he left before long. It was on Sarbjyot’s invitation that Nishidh Jaiswal, Kaushal Jhawar and Mayank Jhawar came over.
“Nishidh was the first to arrive. He came in a cab some time between 2.30am and 3am. Kaushal arrived with his cousin Mayank shortly thereafter. They came in a bike. The three had a few sips of drink before Mohit suggested a short spin in his father’s car. The plan was to return after a ride, park the car and go over to Baisakhi playground for a game of cricket at daybreak,” recounted Sarbjyot, who was scheduled to leave for Punjab in a couple of days to spend the Gurpurab week with my parents.
The friends had tiptoed out of Mohit’s house, careful not to wake his parents. While Mohit, Sarbjyot and Nishidh had hopped into the car, Kaushal and Mayank rode the bike. Together they went to Sarbjyot’s AH block home, where the Jhawar cousins parked the bike and joined Nishidh in the car’s rear seat.
“We headed towards Sector V around 4.45am. After driving around the tech town for a while, the car sped towards New Town. I think I dozed off somewhere around then,” mumbled Sarbjyot. The accident had happened not too long after. Sarbjyot, the only person who had worn the seat belt, escaped with minor bruises and cuts. Nishidh, Kaushal and Mayank died on the spot. Mohit is critically injured.
Mohit’s father Binod Jain said: “My son is still battling for his life. He had a critical surgery on Tuesday and doctors are yet to clarify on the proper outcome of the surgery. We don’t want to discuss anything about the episode at present.”
TOI also visited the homes of the Jhawar cousins at Phoolbagan and the four-storey house of Nishidh Jaiswal on Abhedananda Road on Wednesday. “Two young members of our family are dead and we have nothing more to lose. We pray their soul rests in peace,” said Gopal Mundhra, a close relative of the family.
Family members of Nishidh said they were too shocked to react to any queries. “The entire family is in a state of shock. We are yet to come to terms with the death of Nishidh,” a family member said on Wednesday.
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