Cyrus Mistry's death: A look at what caused the accident and who drove the car?

The death of former Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry (54) has been the talk of the nation as the prominent professional was killed in a car accident on Sunday when he was on the way to Mumbai from Ahmedabad. The accident occurred during the noon hours of Sunday and it has drawn swift attention. While Mistry and his co-passenger died on the spot, two others were seriously injured. 

After recovering the bodies and sending the injured to the hospital, the police launched the probe into the tragic mishap and the preliminary investigation has revealed what caused the accident and who drove the car. Through the investigation, it has come to light that Mistry and his deceased co-passenger Jahangir Pandole were not wearing seat belts and the vehicle had exceeded the speed limit. 

Additionally, the error of judgment by the driver caused the accident. As per the CCTV footage, the car, a  Mercedes Benz, was over-speeding in a fashion that it covered 20 kilometres in just nine minutes. The car eventually hit a road divider on the bridge on the Surya river and Mistry and Jahangir Pandole were killed on the spot. The accident happened at 2.30 pm on Sunday when Mistry was returning to Mumbai from Ahmedabad.

On the question of who drove the car, the police say that the car was driven by Mumbai-based gynaecologist Anahita Pandole, who is 55 years old. After the accident, she and her husband were seriously injured. A police officer said, "As per the preliminary investigation, overspeeding and the error of judgment caused the car accident. Both the deceased were not wearing seat belts." 

"While analysing the footage captured by CCTV cameras at the Charoti check post, Palghar police found that the car had crossed the check post around 2.21 pm and the accident occurred 20 kilometres ahead in the director of Mumbai", the officer added. As per his statement, the car has crossed 20 kilometres just in the span of nine minutes. Mistry and Jahangir Pandole were in the back seats and Anahita's husband Darius Pandole was in the front while she was driving the car. 

The bodies of Mistry and Jahangir were sent to JJ Hospital in Mumbai to perform an autopsy while Darius and Anahita were taken to a hospital in Mumbai by road. An eye-witness had divulged that a woman was driving the car and tried to overtake another vehicle from the left side during which the car lost control and rammed into the road divider. 

It has been reported that Cyrus Mistry and the others had travelled to Udvada Fire temple in Gujarat on Sunday morning to pray for the father of the Pandole brothers, who died recently. The hospital that is treating Anahita Pandole said that she had suffered a pneumothorax and a hip fracture and she is under observation. On the other hand, Darius Pandole had suffered bilateral jaw fractures. He is the Chief of JM Financial Private Equity and he was earlier on the board of Tata Companies.

Following the accident, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered a detailed investigation into the incident. Several leaders and entrepreneurs have paid tribute to Mistry and expressed condolences to his family. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and wrote, "The untimely demise of Shri Cyrus Mistry is shocking. He was a promising business leader who believed in India’s economic prowess. His passing away is a big loss to the world of commerce and industry. Condolences to his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace." 

About Cyrus Mistry: 

Born in Mumbai to Indian billionaire and construction magnate Pallonji Mistry, Cyrus Mistry served as the Chairperson of Tata Group from 2012 to 2016. He was the sixth chairman of the group. In mid-2012, he was selected as the head of Tata Group and took charge in December that year. In October 2016, the board of Tata Group voted to remove Mistry from the post of Chairman. 

However, in December 2019, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal declared the appointment of Chandrasekaran, Mistry's successor, as executive chairman illegal and reinstated Mistry. However, Supreme Court has later upheld Mistry's dismissal from the post. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Mistry is worth $29 billion at the time of his death. He was one of the richest men in India. 

He joined the board of Tata Sons on 1st September 2006, a year after his father retired from it. In 2013, Mistry was appointed the chairman of Tata Sons and he was also chairman of all major Tata companies including Tata Steel, TCS, Tata Power, and Tata Chemicals. Mistry was married to Rohiqa Chagla and the couple had two sons. His father Pallonji Mistry died in mid-2022.