They were friends for the past 20 years

Afshan Yasmeen

It all happened so suddenly, says accident survivor

‘Dr. Panathur was the senior-most and wisest among us’

Reddy undergoes surgery for fracture

Bangalore: Ironically, the victims of Saturday morning’s ghastly accident in Indirangar were discussing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s bypass surgery just before the car knocked them down. The doctor, Ramanath Panathur, was telling his friends Kodandarama Reddy, who survived, Kempe Gowda and Siddaiah Reddy, about Ramana Maharshi’s bypass surgery and how the saint died later.

The group of friends had been going for morning walks for the last 20 years.

Mr. Kodandarama Reddy told The Hindu from his hospital bed that he survived as he was 20 metres ahead of the others. “Instead of me, the cyclist died.”

Recollecting what happened just before the accident, Mr. Reddy said: “We were walking in a group and I got separated from them because of the bus shelter on the footpath. We usually start between 5 a.m. and 5.15 a.m. from our homes, walk for some distance and converge at a point, have coffee at the nearby hotel near ESI Staff Quarters. We sit there chatting till 6 a.m. and then walk back.”

He pointed out that the same routine would have been followed on Saturday too. “We had walked for a km and stepped down on the road because of the bus shelter on the pavement. I was 20 metres ahead and stepped on the footpath again just past the bus shelter. The others were about to do likewise when suddenly a speeding car came behind. The driver was crazy. He suddenly took a left turn towards the footpath. Despite the loud noise, I did not panic as I was on the footpath. I thought the car could not come on the pavement as it was one-and-a-half-ft high. I assumed that the others would have been on the footpath by then. Suddenly, I heard screams and shrieks and the car was on the pavement almost upon me… I got scared and jumped to avoid getting hit. I did not realise then that I had lost my friends,” Mr. Reddy narrated.

“Dr. Panathur was the senior-most and wisest among us. We would discuss everything during our walk. I can’t imagine I will never share his company again,” he added.

According to Chinnappa S. Metgud, Head of Operations at Manipal Hospital, Mr. Reddy has suffered a fracture of the left tibia proximal one-third with extension to the joint on lateral condyel.

“Generally Grosse Kempf (GK) nailing is done to treat this kind of fracture, but as the fracture is closer to the joint, a specialised nail, known as the expert tibial nail is being used. This will help put multiple screws in the proximal end of the tibia in different directions,” Dr. Metgud said.

Mr. Reddy’s condition is stable as he had no other complications.

Apart from the fracture he has only a few scratches and bruises. He underwent surgery for the fracture in the evening.

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