Tragedy in Chennai -- City mourns for Ashwin Sundar & wife
A popular face in the circuit, 32-year-old racer Ashwin Sunder and his wife Niveditha passed away in a car crash blaze in the wee hours of Saturday, as they were returning home. According to sources, the couple were returning home around 2 am when the unfortunate accident happened.
The couple are reported to have been trapped inside the BMW, which instantly went up in flames following the crash, leaving them with no exits. The police could recover the bodies only after the car and its occupants were completely charred. The incident occured near Pattinampakkam in Chennai.
A video has been circulating on social media which shows the car in flames, next to a tree. People standing at a distance were recording the incident, and one user beamed it live on Facebook. An eyewitness on the live feed is seen saying that no one could approach the car to help as the explosions continued even after the car caught fire, thereby making it near impossible for passersby to help.
Ashwin shot to fame in the karting circuit a few years ago and was a a familiar face in the pit lanes for more than a decade. A karting champion in 2002, Ashwin enjoyed success after switching to single seater racing in early 2010, after which he went on to win titles in tournaments such as the 2012 JK Tyre National Racing Championship and 2013 MRF F1600 series. He married Niveditha, a doctor in a private hospital, last year.
Social media reactions:
Popular Racer Karun Chandhok conveyed his condolences, tweeting: Very sad to hear this morning that the young Indian National racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife were killed in a road accident. #RIP
Another racer, Jeetu Shenoy tweeted: Vaguely remember racing with him in the MRF Formula Mondial back in good old 2003/04. Very tragic #RIP #ashwinsundar
The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), the governing body for motor sports in India tweeted: Motor sports has lost a truly fine driver and an amazing person in #AshwinSundar. May his soul rest in peace. #RIPAshwin
In a Facebook post, Akbar Ebrahim who was recently elected President of the FMSCI wrote: Tragic News. AShwin Sundar, a fine young man who excelled in all formats of motorsport is no more. It's hard to digest. Known him since an infant when he took to the sport and was always thrilled to see him perform in all disciplines. It's sad. Really really sad. Rest in peace Ashwin and Niveditha. May God bless both your souls.
Responding to a news article, Jwala Gutta tweeted: @HTSportsNews really tragic #ashwinsundar. My condolences to the family
JK Tyre Motorsports, for whom he has won titles for wrote: A black day for Indian Motorsports as our former national champion #AshwinSundar passed away yesterday in an accident. #RIP
Even Vasundhara Raje, the Rajasthan CM took to twitter to express her condolences: Saddened by the tragic news of demise of National car racer #AshwinSundar & his wife. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.
Those known to the couple too expressed their grief:
Sidney Sladen, a popular designer in the city also wrote on his Facebook wall
RIP my dear Ashwin Sundar and Niveditha. Sweetest couple ever. This is really the saddest news/ Ashwin for all the years I've known you, you always were such a happy and genuine soul, always walking aabout with a smile. Niveditha the collest and funniest bride ever. I am glad to have friends like you and it was an absolute honour dressing you guys for your wedding. Peace and love to you and your family. God bless. Shocked and Heartbroken.
@SangeetaSrileo: RIP Racer #AshwinSundar and Nivetha. Sweetest couple ever! This really is the saddest news ever... Shocked and Heartbroken.. May God bless
@kartikt: Pained & saddened to hear the tragic news, they made a lovely couple. #AshwinSundar