NEW DELHI: The visuals of Rishabh Pant‘s horrific high-speed car accident and his miraculous escape from the crushed vehicle that caught fire invoke both scare and concern. That he hasn’t suffered any life-threatening injuries is nothing short of a miracle. For that, the Indian wicketkeeper-batter had every bit to thank the man who turned out to be a God-sent help to save his life. But all Pant could do was barely raise his hand to thank Sushil Kumar, a Haryana Roadways bus driver, as he was moved onto the stretcher and into the ambulance at the site of the accident on the Delhi-Dehradun highway.
In the wee hours of a foggy morning near Mohammadpur Jhal at the Narsan border near Roorkee, Kumar saw a car losing control and ramming into the road divider. He shouted for his conductor’s attention: “Paramjeet, haath de jalde, gaadi lagwa”
(stick your hand out and indicate to park on the side).
Kumar and his helper jumped out of the bus and ran towards Pant’s car.
Lying in a pool of blood, Pant had somehow managed to escape from the car that soon turned into a ball of fire. “Isko jaldi uthwa, gaadi mein aag lag rahi hai” (help me lift him, the car is catching fire),” Kumar, who narrated the story to TimesofIndia.com
, told his helper.
The passengers in the bus scampered out as it was parked not too far from Pant’s burning car.
Kumar and his helper, meanwhile, had moved Pant to the corner of the road and asked him: “Are you okay? Is there anyone else inside the car?”
But Pant was the lone occupant of the car, driving home to surprise his mother.
Miracle survivor: Rishabh Pant emerges from high-speed car crash
<p>Rishabh Pant was seriously injured in a road accident while driving home from Delhi to Roorkee at Narsan in Haridwar (Twitter image)</p>
<p>After a collision, Rishabh Pant’s Mercedes caught fire (Twitter image)</p>
<p>Rishabh Pant sustained burn injuries in the incident, but his condition is not serious.</p>
<p>The star wicketkeeper batsman of Indian cricket team, was alone in the car when his Mercedes GLE car hit the divider railings on the Delhi-Haridwar highway at around 5.30am</p>
<p>The car then turned a few times before turning into a ball of fire.</p>
<p>Hearing a loud sound of the accident, nearby villagers along with the local cops, rushed to the spot and pulled him out of the car.</p>
<p>After the incident, Rishabh Pant was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was then referred to a major hospital in Dehradun for further treatment</p>
<p>Pant sustained injuries on his forehead, a hand and right knee</p>
<p>However, he is conscious and able to talk</p>
<p>A team of doctors at Max hospital Dehradun are currently ‘holding an evaluation for any possible internal injury.’</p>
<p>Rishabh Pant was fortunate to survive the severe car accident, a policeman said</p>
<p>It is likely that Pant fell asleep while driving because there was no fog on the road which could have affected the visibility, said a policeman.</p>
<p>Hospital authorities were not immediately available to give an update on Pant’s condition but Delhi and District Cricket Association Secretary Siddharth Sahib Singh said he was “stable”</p>
<p>Uttarakhand CM promises all possible support to cricketer Pant following his accident</p>
<p>According to the initial X-ray results, there are no fractures and no burns on Pant’s body, despite the fact that his car caught fire during the accident</p>
<p>Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said his government will bear the entire expense of Pant’s treatment</p>
<p>Pant has scored 2,271 runs in 33 tests. He has also represented the country in 30 one-day internationals and 66 Twenty20 matches.</p>
<p>Pant was part of the Indian team that defeated Bangladesh in a test series earlier this month.</p>
<p>Pant has scored 2,271 runs in 33 Tests so far with the help of five hundreds and 11 fifties. He has also represented the country in 30 ODIs and 66 T20Is (Image – BCCI)</p>
He could barely speak and signalled for his phone, gathering all the strength left in him to ask Kumar: “Meri mummy ko phone mila do”.
Kumar found the phone lying near the car. He brought it to Pant and then dialled his mother’s number. But it was switched off.
“I rushed for his help insaniyat ke naate (on humanitarian grounds),” said Kumar, the good Samaritan.
When Kumar couldn’t get through to Pant’s mother on phone, he rang up for an ambulance and the police.
Bus driver Sushil Kumar (Credit: TimesofIndia.com special arrangement)
Kumar didn’t know that it was star Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant. He said that he was just trying to rescue a fellow human being.
“I didn’t want to leave that person (Pant) alone in that state. I did try to look into the car and found no one else. There was a lot of blood coming out from his forehead and legs. Her mother’s phone was off,” Kumar said during his conversation with Timesofindia.com.
“One of the passengers on the bus came, saw the injured man and said “Yeh to cricketer Rishabh Pant hai”, said Kumar, who is not a fan of cricket. “I hardly watch cricket. I don’t know who plays cricket for India. I just know Sachin (Tendulkar) and (MS) Dhoni. Whether he is a cricketer or a millionaire, I just wanted to help and save a life”.
Pant couldn’t speak but his gesture was enough for Kumar to understand that the cricketer wanted to thank him.
Watch: How Rishabh Pant’s car rammed into a road divider
“It took just 10 to 15 mins for the ambulance to reach the accident site. Police took my number, shifted the cricketer to the ambulance and took him to a hospital,” Kumar said.
Kumar added that some money was also lying on the road.
Rishab Pant accident: Driving tips that can save your life and car features that can help you
<p>Rishab Pant accident: Driving tips that can save your life and car features that can help you</p>
<p>Cricketer Rishabh Pant was seriously injured after his Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV crashed into a divider, he was flung out through the SUV’s windshield before the vehicle caught on fire.</p>
<p>While certain details of Pant’s crash are still unknown, the GLE SUV does get an extensive suite of safety features. However, technology alone cannot be responsible to save lives, careful driving skills are required too to minimise risk of an accident.</p>
<p>There have been no reports stating that Pant’s vehicle was over-speeding at the time of the accident, however, technology alone cannot be responsible for saving lives as there are numerous other factors involved including human inputs, external environment, road condition etc.</p>
<p>Since July 2019, over-speed warning alarms have been made mandatory in all cars. If your vehicle has one, it is best to follow the prescribed speed limit on national highways which can be tricky to navigate at night.</p>
<p>It might be raining, the road may have an oil patch or you might face a dead end! In any scenario, a modern vehicle’s braking system has ABS, that helps the car come to complete halt without losing traction. So do not think twice before slamming hard on the brakes in an emergency situation, if possible take look in the rear view before braking.</p>
<p>If an unexpected obstacle on the road forces you to change directions quickly then you should try and bring the vehicle back to a straight trajectory as quickly as possible. Modern cars have ESP systems that will ensure the vehicle remains stable in such an eventuality.</p>
<p>Safety system in modern vehicles such as airbags can be the difference between life and death in a crash. However, if the driver or passengers do not have the safety seatbelt on, then these safety measure may not deploy when required. So it is imperative to wear seatbelts at all times inside a car.</p>
<p>Out of 19,800 deaths recorded in 2021, nearly 83 percent (16,397) victims were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.</p>
<p>Please do not under any circumstance use your mobile phones while driving. Mobile phones distract the driver and many times one has to take their eyes off the road to look at their device. This is a leading factor in road accident deaths in India. In 2021, driving while using mobile phones led to 1,040 deaths across the country.</p>
<p>It is best to avoid driving long distances at night as visibility is low and one can get drowsy which compromises attention. Moreover, if someone else on the road loses consciousness while driving, then you could become collateral damage. In case of emergency, play audio or converse with your co-passengers throughout the journey to stay alert.</p>
<p>Many modern cars these days come equipped with driver drowsiness detection systems. If you get such a warning from your vehicle then take it seriously. Take a break at the nearest stop and have a hot beverage to wear off the tiredness.</p>
<p>Drinking and driving or operating any heavy machinery is never acceptable under any circumstance. You can put yours and the lives of others on the road in grave danger. Data shows, 1,352 people lost their lives in 2021 due to drinking and driving.</p>
<p>While many argue that ADAS safety systems are not suited to Indian driving conditions, it is better to be armed with life saving technology than not have it at all. Level 2 ADAS systems being offered in modern cars can be life savers as they take control from the driver and can react much quicker than a human can. Systems such as anti-collision braking and blind spot monitoring can reduce the chances of a crash significantly.</p>
<p>If you are a part of a cluster of cars when driving on the roads, it is best to maintain a safe distance to get time to react incase of an unexpected obstacle. Once again, cars with ADAS that feature active cruise control can help you keep a safe distance and accelerate-decelerate without any actual input from you.</p>
“There was some money scattered on the road. I picked all of it and put it in his (Pant’s) pocket. I told him ‘theek ho jaoge, dhyan rakhna’ (you will be fine, take care). He wanted to say something, but couldn’t. He tried waving his hand towards me, wanting to say thanks,” said driver Kumar.
As per the police statement, the 25-year-old Pant, who has represented India in 33 Tests, 30 ODIs and 66 T20Is, had fallen asleep on the wheel.
Watch: When Rishabh Pant’s car hit divider at high speed
He was first admitted to Saksham Hospital Multispecialty and Trauma Centre to get treatment for impact injuries and later shifted to Max Hospital, Dehradun.
According to a BCCI press release, Pant has two cuts on his forehead, a ligament tear in his right knee and also hurt his right wrist, ankle, toe and suffered abrasion injuries on his back.
“I am thankful to god that I could save someone’s life. May this cricketer get on his feet soon and play for India once again,” Kumar said.