Vijayawada: Commonwealth Games silver medallist Ritul Chatterjee on Sunday not only lost his personal trainer Lenin Cherukuri but also his elder brother whom he used to call 'Dada'.
Lenin died while Ritul escaped unhurt in a road accident on NH 9 near here in the wee hours on Sunday.
After being felicitated by Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan and Chief Minister K Rosaiah in Hyderabad, they along with Lenin's father Satyanarayana and cousin were returning in a Scorpio.
Lenin, who was driving the vehicle, died on the spot while others survived in a miraculous escape.
Ritul was in fact sleeping on the lap of his coach in the middle row but as the fate would have it, Lenin decided to drive and went to the front seat.
Giving an eyewitness account to the accident, Ritul said they tried their best to save him but all their efforts went in vain.
"I was in deep sleep and woke up to a shock as the vehicle tumbled. It happened so fast, I could not think of anything. When I opened my eyes, Leninda was thrown out of the door and was bleeding profusely.
"He was bleeding from mouth, nose... We tried our best to stop the bleeding and called for help. We applied pressure on his chest for breathing. The ambulance came after about 40 minutes... It was all over by then," Ritul said.
"It was such a frightening experience. Leninda died in front of his father who was helpless, crying for help."
Ritul said it was all excitement inside the car after they left Hyderabad around 7:30 pm.
"We all were overjoyed after the grand felicitation. We were carrying the awards and were in a celebrating mood. Leninda was talking about our preparation plans for the World Championships and World Cups. But everything finished in few seconds," the silver medallist added.
First Published: Sunday, October 24, 2010, 20:57