Expressway again: Accident claims Marathi actors Abhyankar, Pendse

Grieving

Marathi film and television actors Anand Abhyankar (50) and Akshay Pendse (30), and the latter's son two-year-old son Pratyush, lost their lives when the car they were travelling in collided head-on with a speeding tempo-truck on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway late on Sunday night. The accident occurred as the truck went out of control after hitting the divider and breaking the road median.

Pune rural police said the accident took place around 11.30 pm on Sunday at the Urse Toll booth at Baur village, about 22 km from Pune city. Pendse's wife Dipti (30) and Abhyankar's driver Suresh Jagtap too sustained injuries. Police said Abhyankar and Pendse were on their way to Mumbai after a daylong shooting schedule in Pune.

Inspector Sopan More of Wadgaon Maval police station said: "Suresh had driven the car up to the Urse Toll booth after which Abhyankar took over. Near Baur village, a tempo truck that was coming towards Pune went out of control and hit the car on the driver's side." The car fell into a trench along the expressway.

The Wadgaon Maval police have arrested the tempo-truck driver, Shrimant Lahu Myele driver, a resident of Umaraga in Osmanabad district, for rash driving and causing death due to negligence.

Abhyankar, who was driving the Wagon R, sustained severe injuries in his head and chest, while Pendse, who was sitting right behind him, had injuries all over his body. Pratyush suffered serious head injuries, police said. All were rushed to Lokmanya Hospital in Nigdi.

Shrikrushna Joshi, coordinator of emergency medical services at the hospital, said: "All three were brought dead to us." The hospital authorities said the injuries sustained by Dipti and Suresh were not of very serious nature. After post-mortem, the bodies were handed over to the two actors' friends from the film and television industry.

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