Australian NRI and
Newly-Wedded Wife died in the Goa bus-tanker-truck collision
A honeymoon ended in tragedy for a couple headed for US
MUMBAI, Jan 17, 2008
It was a short holiday to one of the most beautiful holiday destinations
- Goa. But it ended in tragedy for a newly wed couple.
Nikunj Patel, a non-resident Indian (NRI) IT professional from
Australia, had married Jeevangna Patel Jan 10.
The Patel clan from the US, Paris and Australia had arrived for
Nikunj-Jeevangna's marriage at Mota Vaghchipa, a prosperous village
in Pardi taluka, 25 km from Valsad.
Thereafter, the family and the newly married couple had chartered
a luxury bus for a brief holiday to Goa before returning to their
respective adopted countries Jan 24, a weeping Pradeep Patel, one
of the bereaved relatives, told IANS over phone from Mota Vaghchipa
The couple, who planned to settle in the US after marriage, was
among the total of 13 victims, including nine expatriate Indians,
two Gujaratis and two drivers in the Goa bus-tanker-truck collision,
The other deceased are: Neelam Patel, Anand Patel, Dhruv Patel
(minor, US citizen), Nidhi Patel (minor, US citizen), Falguni Patel,
Mamta Patel (all from Florida, US), Nilesh Patel (Paris) and Nikunj
Patel (Australia). Mamta Patel and Shivam Patel were from Mota Vaghchippa
village accompanying their visiting relatives.
"Neelam and Anand Patel were engaged in running a franchisee
of the well-known Subway fast food eatery in Florida. Nilesh Patel
was engaged in running a family business in Paris," Pradeep
He added that the relatives of the victims are expected to reach
with the bodies late on Thursday and the last rites shall be conducted
in the village itself.
Eleven other members of the Patel clan sustained injuries, mainly
burn injuries and fractures. They are recuperating in the Goa Medical
College and Hospital (GMCH) at Bambolim, 15 kms away from the Maharashtra-Goa
GMCH dean Dr. VN Jindal told here that the autopsy was conducted
on 11 victims' bodies. Incidentally, the 1200-bed GMCH is the only
major one on the 1000 km National Highway-17 between Mumbai-Manipal
(Karnataka) equipped to handle big tragedies.
Jindal asserted that all the injured are now out of danger but
since they have suffered fractures, may require varying period of
The Goa police on Thursday registered a case against the driver
of the tanker carrying acid that was involved in the gruesome accident.
The tanker bears Maharashtra registration No. MH-04 CA-1907.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Goa GP Mhapne said that
efforts are on to contact the tanker owners in Mumbai for further
The tragic accident, involving three large, fast-moving vehicles,
occurred in the Western Ghats outside Pernem, around 12 km from
the Maharashtra-Goa border on Wednesday around 1.20 p.m. It left
a total 13 dead and 11 injured.