A three-year-old girl was killed and four other people, including her mother, were badly injured when a car mounted a central reservation and ploughed into a group of pedestrians.


A four-year-old boy also suffered critical injuries in the horrific accident which was caught on CCTV cameras in the city of Pune in western India's Maharashtra State.


The victims were standing on the central reservation, waiting for a gap in the traffic so that they could continue crossing the road.


Suddenly a speeding silver car, driven by a woman later named by police as Sujata Jayprakash Shroff, veers onto the central reservation and hits the pedestrians, sending them flying.


All five victims were rushed to a nearby private hospital where three-year-old Isha Vishwakarma was declared dead on arrival.


Her mother Pooja Vishwakarma, 26, sustained severe injuries. Their neighbour Nisha Shaikh, 27, her four-year-old son Sajid and her brother Shahjad, 22, were also badly hurt.


Assistant inspector Tanaji Bhogam of the Chatushrungi police said: "Sajid is critical and had been admitted to the intensive care unit of another private hospital."


Mrs Shroff told police that she suddenly lost control of her car after feeling giddy at the wheel. She fainted after the accident and has also been admitted to hospital.


She has been charged with culpable homicide, as well as rash and negligent driving, under the Indian Penal Code.


Eyewitness Sagar Kattimani, a resident who witnessed the accident, said that he had seen two women, two children and a man get off a six-seater autorickshaw.


He added: "They were carrying shopping bags. All of them had crossed half the road and halted on the median.


"A speeding car from the Pune side suddenly jumped the median and crashed into all five of them. The speed of the car was such that a woman and a boy with her were flung into the air and fell on the other side of the road."


Mr Kattimani added that the car stopped after hitting a utility pole in the central reservation.


He added: "Had the pole not been there, the car could have hit other people too."


Vaibhav Gaikwad, who tried to help the victims, said he tried to stop two ambulances, but both were already carrying patients.


In the end the victims were taken to hospital in a police van and in autorickshaws.


A doctor from the private hospital said that Isha Vishwakarma had died of severe head injuries. Her mother had also suffered severe head injuries.

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Author: Gabriel Zamfir

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