NAGPUR: The Nagar police team conducting investigation into deaths of three first-year commerce students on North Ambazari Road on August 14 feel the victims had a slim chance of survival had the driver of the Hydra crane engaged at the MahaMetro site not applied brake before abandoning the vehicle and fleeing the spot.

Sources from Bajaj Nagar police said the College students, Vishruti Banwari, 17, Sneha Ambadkar, 18, and Ruchika Borikar, 18, had skidded on the road after Ruchika’s new scooter jumped off a two-piece concrete drain cover. Senior PI of Bajaj Nagar said the three friends were stuck under the rear wheels of the crane when the eye witness first spotted them.

“The rear wheel stopped on their torso as the driver Nathuni Chavan applied brake before jumping off from the cabin and fleeing the spot. The girls remained stuck under the tyres for a few minutes until people dragged the driver back to the vehicle and made him move the vehicle ahead,” said Patil. Chavan is now lodged in Nagpur Central jail.

“Any of the girls could have had a slim chance of surviving with grievous injuries had the wheel rolled over them before halting. It is quite possible the girls died due to heavy weight of the wheel which also made them unable to breathe,” said Patil. The cops are still waiting for detailed post-mortem report.

Police have also approached RTO for inspection of Ruchika’s scooter on which she had taken her friends for a joyride. The crane, also seized by cops, would also be subjected to RTO inspection.

MahaMetro sources said the compensations assured to the victims’ families would be handed over to them after their kin complete the rituals.

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