x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Husband of 2 days tells of crash that killed wife

A woman who was married only two days earlier died in a traffic crash in India, right beside her new husband, who survived.

Altaf Hussain Jamadar during his wedding. He sustained multiple injuries and is recovering at his home in Mumbai.
Altaf Hussain Jamadar during his wedding. He sustained multiple injuries and is recovering at his home in Mumbai.

DUBAI // Altaf Jamadar met the love of his life in India.

Over the next two years, the couple got to know each other through frequent, long-distance telephone calls between Dubai, where he lived, and their home country, where she lived.

They finally tied the knot on December 30 in front of 500 people during a grand wedding ceremony marked by a variety of delicious food, women clad in colourful dresses and ladies adorned with fine jewellery. A special, long wedding dress named a sherwani had been specially made for the blushing bride.

But before the couple could settle into their new life together in Dubai, tragedy struck.

On New Year's Day, as the couple was returning from a relative's home in Mumbai, a large vehicle struck the taxi in which they were travelling from behind, instantly killing Shagufta Petkar, 31.

"It was an arranged marriage and we were excited to settle down in Dubai," said Mr Jamadar, 33, fighting back tears. "We even discussed the areas where we would take a flat. All my dreams crashed with the death of my wife. It's tragic.

"My family members liked her very much. She got along well with my family. I am not able to believe that she is no more. We were together only for two days."

Indian police said they have registered a case of rash and negligent driving against the person who was behind the wheel of the unidentified vehicle, and they are investigating the accident.

"We have not been able to trace the person who committed the accident," said a police officer at the Kalwa police station in Mumbai. "Investigations are still continuing."

Police said they have no leads on the other vehicle. They have neither been able to trace any eye-witnesses nor to find any footage on video cameras installed at a nearby toll plaza.

Mr Jamadar had been sitting next to his wife in the car when the accident happened. He escaped with multiple injuries and is recovering at his home in Mumbai after being discharged from the hospital a few days ago.

He said he suffered multiple fractures and severe injuries on one of his hands.

"Doctors have advised me to rest for two months before I can start work. I could not even attend my wife's burial ceremony," said Mr Jamadar, an employee of Habtoor Leighton group, who has worked as a camp boss in Jebel Ali for the past six years,

Reflecting on the accident, he said: "The taxi broke down ... and the driver parked the car on the side of the road and was trying to fix the problem when the accident happened.

"A speeding heavy vehicle rammed the car from behind, crushing it completely. The driver escaped with minor injuries and my wife died on the spot. We were sitting in the back seat, talking about our marriage when it took place."

He said the road was dark and no one could see who caused the accident.

"I only remember a loud noise after the crash," he said. "I saw my wife lying dead next to me. I was totally devastated."

He said that he is struggling to overcome the trauma. "My wife was a graduate and was working with a stock markets firm in Mumbai. She was a nice person."

He said that he had asked his wife to apply for a passport quickly so that he could bring her to Dubai.

"We had great plans for our future. Even at the time of the accident we were discussing about life in Dubai and how nice it would be to stay together."

He said he had gone to India just last month to prepare for his wedding.

"I invited all my friends and it was a grand wedding. It's unimaginable what had happened. Everyone is in a state of shock."

frahman@thenational.ae