On Friday morning, Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was involved in a serious car accident while driving on the Delhi-Dehradun highway. His car hit a divider, flipped over, and caught fire. Pant was rescued from the wreckage by a passerby, Sushil Kumar, who was driving a passenger bus at the time of the accident.
“I am a driver with Haryana Roadways, Panipat depot,” Kumar told Hindustan Times. “Our bus left Haridwar at 4.25 in the morning. I was on my way when I saw a car being driven at a lot of speed get off balance and crash into the divider. After the impact, the car landed on the wrong side of the road – the one that goes to Delhi.”
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“The car had screeched onto the second lane of the road, seeing which I immediately applied the brakes. The car had already caught sparks so I and the conductor rushed to get him out of the car. By then the fire has started. Then, three more people came running and got him on a safe side.”
Pant was rushed to a local hospital, Saksham Hospital Multispecialty and Trauma Center, for treatment of impact injuries before being transferred to the Max Hospital in Dehradun. MRI scans on Pant’s brain and spine were normal and his condition is stable, though scans on his ankle and knee were not performed due to swelling and pain.
“I called the National Highway, no one answered. Then I rang up the police and the conductor called for an ambulance. We kept asking him he is he fine. Offered him some water. After regrouping, he told us he is Rishabh Pant. I don’t follow cricket so I didn’t know who he was but my conductor [Paramjeet] then told me ‘Sushil… he is an India cricketer’.
“He gave us his mother’s number. We called her but her phone was switched off. The ambulance arrived after 15 minutes and we got in him … I asked him if he was alone in the car. He said there is no one.”
Pant, who is 25 years old, was not part of the Indian national team for the T20I and ODI series against Sri Lanka, which is set to begin on January 3. He had been scheduled to go to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for strength and conditioning training in preparation for the Test series against Australia in February. Pant’s most recent match was a series-winning innings of 93 in the second Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur.