A new mother returning home in an ambulance with her two-day-old daughter after being released from hospital had a close shave when a mini truck that skipped a traffic signal on Mayo Road and crashed into the ambulance on Red Road on Sunday afternoon.
The impact left the father of the woman severely injured and the two drivers bleeding and bruised but the 22-year-old woman and the baby, inside the Maruti Omni turned ambulance, escaped unscathed.
The baby girl was in the arms of the woman’s aunt, Santana Acharya while Puja Banerjee was resting on the stretcher when the accident happened.
“I still can’t imagine what could have happened had the mini truck hit our ambulance in the belly. At the impact I fell off the stretcher on the floor of the ambulance. My aunt also fell but on her back as she held my baby clutched to her chest,” said Banerjee, sitting at the emergency ward at SSKM Hospital after the accident.
As the window glasses broke and shards fell on the baby, Banerjee climbed and shielded her as pieces of glasses pierced her head in the attempt. “Saving my baby was the priority. I could not think about myself. I just wanted to be sure that my baby was fine,” she said.
The incident happened around 1.45pm when Banerjee was heading towards her home at Domjur in Howrah along with her family members after being released from Calcutta Medical College and Hospital. She had given birth to a baby girl last Friday.
Police said, as the ambulance was about to hit Red Road while moving towards the second Hooghly bridge ramp, the mini truck, moving towards Babughat, skipped a signal and hit the ambulance. Banerjee’s father Dulal Acharya, sitting left to the ambulance driver suffered maximum injuries while the driver, Mukesh Sen, was also left bleeding and cut injuries on his head.
The mini truck driver Mohd Javed and his helper, Mohd Khurshid Alam were also injured. All of them were taken to SSKM Hospital in a police ambulance where Acharya, Sen, Javed and Alam were admitted. Javed was later arrested.
Banerjee’s husband, Bholanath, who works at a stationary shop in Domjur said he was crestfallen when he received a call from the cops about the accident. “We were preparing for the grand welcome of my daughter. My mother was preparing sweets while several of our relatives had come to home to watch my daughter as she was coming back from hospital. And then I received the call from the policeman informing that my wife and daughter had met with accident,” said Bholanath
He added his first concern was about the baby girl. “I asked cops about my daughter to which they said she was fine. I rushed to the hospital and after learning that doctors had checked her and that she was fine, I was a bit relieved,” he said.
Doctors at the hospital said, the baby was almost unscathed while the mother and the aunt had received minor bruises and cuts. “The baby had escaped miraculously. Had she taken a hit, it would have been very difficult for a newborn like her to put up any sort of resistance. The injuries of Acharya are of utmost concern. Necessary tests have been done and multiple stitches were administered on him and we are keeping him under observation,” said a doctor at the emergency ward of the hospital.