Tragedy on 7th Avenue: Varsity student killed, eight injured in car crash

Published: October 25, 2013
An overhead bridge is located near the place where the accident occurred, allegedly due to a pedestrian crossing the 70km/h road. PHOTO: ONLINE

An overhead bridge is located near the place where the accident occurred, allegedly due to a pedestrian crossing the 70km/h road. PHOTO: ONLINE


An undergraduate student was killed in a car accident, in which at least eight other people were also injured, on 7th Avenue on Thursday afternoon.

Hajra Gilani, a second-semester student of Architecture at the Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), received a head injury that proved to be fatal. She died at the Polyclinic Hospital, according to the police.

When the accident occurred at around 2:30pm, Gilani and five other girls, all friends and students at CIIT’s undergraduate Architecture programme, were driving to the Pakistan National Council of the Arts from their university campus in Chak Shahzad, according to Arshad Mehmood, the father of Mehreen Arshad who was also in the car.

The police could not confirm which of the six students was driving the car. But based on accounts from police officers, eyewitnesses and relatives of the injured, the accident occurred when the car’s driver tried to save a pedestrian who ran in front of the car.

The car, a Toyota Vitz, swerved, hit a lamp post on the median near the avenue’s Saddar Road underpass which is located between G-6 and G-7, and somersaulted over the divider to the opposite lane where it collided sideways with an oncoming car.

In the collision, both cars were battered on the driver’s side. Gilani, who was in the passenger seat, was not wearing her seat belt, according to the police, and suffered a head injury as the car’s windscreen broke. The police said one other girl was in critical condition but did not reveal her identity or if she was driving the car.

The other car was being driven by a woman, according to her brother who requested anonymity but said Shaheen was driving her two children from a private school to their residence in Sector I-8/4. He said his sister and her children were shifted to Al-Shifa Hospital where they were being treated for minor wounds.

The injured from the students’ car were shifted to the Polyclinic Hospital by Rescue 1122 officials and onlookers. The police identified the injured as Anam Shakeel, Isbah Javed, Zainab, Maryam and Mehreen Arshad.

Distraught classmates and family members of the injured students quickly gathered at the hospital, trying to find out more about their loved ones from the police and doctors.

Javed Abbasi, the father of Isbah, said his daughter was too shocked to give him any details about the incident. Abbasi said Isbah had hurt her arm in the accident and had to get an X-ray. Some of the other girls who were also injured mostly received minor injuries and cuts and bruises, Mehmood said.

The police did not confirm if the pedestrian who might have caused the accident was also injured.

There are several overhead footbridges on the 7th Avenue — an overhead bridge is also located near the place where the accident occurred. But jaywalkers are a constant risk for road safety, not just on 7th Avenue but also on the Islamabad Highway where pedestrians have caused at least two accidents in the past two months.

A traffic police official who reached the scene of the accident said Islamabad Traffic Police is constantly trying to educate pedestrians to use footbridges and drivers not to exceed speed limits.

The official said a metal fence on the sides of the 7th Avenue might not be effective. “Just look at the metal dividers installed on the Murree Road in Rawalpindi and on the Islamabad Highway,” the officer said. “People and motorcyclists simply break through them to make way.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (43)

  • anon
    Oct 25, 2013 - 11:52AM

    May her soul R.I.P.


  • Rehan
    Oct 25, 2013 - 12:34PM

    Such a sad news, I missed hitting a fat lady yesterday when she crossed the 7th avenue road suddenly. She was behind the bushes that CDA fails to maintain.

    An advise to drivers, in such circumstances its wise to run over the pedestrian then to risk passengers in your vehicle and other oncoming traffic. This is the international standard


  • Zak
    Oct 25, 2013 - 3:46PM

    I drive on that road daily and pedestrians are really careless in crossing such a major highway. I for one wouldnt try to save a pedestrian’s life in such a situation as more lives would be at stake. May the deceased rest in place.Recommend

  • Ahmad Azfaar
    Oct 25, 2013 - 3:53PM

    Its just a sad tragedy which happened with the people riding the car, i was thinking few days back about the same thing and displayed a status on fb in the same regard.
    where ever we travel in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, we do have pedestrian bridges or not but people just cross the roads by foot and mostly under the shadow of Pedestrian Bridges.. :@ it should be allowed to hit such pedestrians who cross roads by foot where they do have a safe facility to use, for which millions were spend…

    I totally agree with Rehan as per the Intl Law, we should do it like and hit them instead of getting our life into danger…

    One more lesson we should learn is to use SEAT BELTS *all the riders, ITP did managed the drivers to use them but what about the other riders who are riding the same car…

    Same is with bikers.. both the riders should wear helmet as both have got skull which carry our brain and brain is most vital organ of our body :pRecommend

  • naveed
    Oct 25, 2013 - 4:04PM

    why on earth she risk her own & others life to save that stupid? In the end it would’ve been multiple deaths but ALLAH saved them except 1, if encounter such situation hit that person without any regretRecommend

  • Ponka
    Oct 25, 2013 - 5:38PM

    The same thing happens aat Sharae Faisal, Karachi. People dont use the pedestrian bridge but instead prefer to walk past the signal free corridor!


  • Ubaid
    Oct 25, 2013 - 5:58PM



  • Nadeem
    Oct 25, 2013 - 6:12PM

    While I agree with “its wise to run over the pedestrian then to risk passengers in your vehicle and other oncoming traffic.”. However I find the difficult to digest the fact that a car which hit a lamp post and then somersaulted over the divider to the opposite lane, was under 70 Km/h speed limit.


  • sarah
    Oct 25, 2013 - 6:15PM

    so sad.. may ALLAH bless them……………


  • sattar rind
    Oct 25, 2013 - 6:19PM

    Very sad


  • Ahmad Mirza
    Oct 25, 2013 - 6:45PM

    Its really tragic to hear such an accident caused due to pedestrians. I think this is the point people should start thinking that their self-proclaimed heroism can cost people their lives. Especially on Khanna bridge on Islamabad expressway. It is prohibited for pedestrians to cross 7th Avenue if you kill someone it cannot be charged as murder.
    You cannot imagine what happens on GT-Road with People and animals. A dog ran right to my drivers side door and rammed it. I nearly totaled my car due to another dog in the same night.


  • eid
    Oct 25, 2013 - 7:51PM

    My teacher was true about Toyota, sometimes break matters the most….


  • Imtiaz Awan
    Oct 25, 2013 - 8:07PM

    Very sad news. My heart goes out to the families.


  • Umair Rishi
    Oct 25, 2013 - 8:49PM

    I for one think that we should have pedestrian subways instead of these foot-bridges. They might not be that cost effective but majority of the people would use them as they are less of a hassle. None of these foot-bridges is serving it’s purpose and deploying our police to fine jaywalkers would be a complete waste of our resources.


  • Oct 25, 2013 - 9:26PM

    I Meet her like hour before they left university.. I Still Cant believe…!
    My Batchmate at university…
    Rest in Peace..!


  • Khurram
    Oct 25, 2013 - 9:27PM

    It should be announced publicly by Islamabad if some pedestrian got hit by a car on highways no charges will be press on the driver. Only then people can be restricted from such incidents. May ALLAH shower his blessings upon deceased. Ameen


  • Adil
    Oct 25, 2013 - 10:23PM

    very sad ..Recommend

  • Umayr Masud
    Oct 25, 2013 - 10:23PM

    Vitz is a Japanese car that has 9 airbags and the body is reinforced. The police needs to look deeper into this if the air bags didn’t fire on impact. The dealers that are importing these cars are either getting cars that have been majorly accidental and trashed (hence no airbags). That said this is a shocking incident and the pedestrians and general public in our country never learns, they have no value of life.Recommend

  • Adil
    Oct 25, 2013 - 10:24PM

    “very sad”


  • Rizwan Khan
    Oct 25, 2013 - 10:45PM

    Very sad :(
    May her soul rest in Peace


  • Faisal
    Oct 25, 2013 - 10:46PM

    This is sad news no doubt. May Allah SWT forgive the departed soul and give her a high place in Jannah. May Allah SWT give the family strength to cope with this loss.

    Having said this, I do blame the Islamabad Traffic People who are more concerned with giving chalaans to the drivers than to stop the stupid people from crossing the roads. This should also fall in the jurisdiction of the ITP. The CDA has made excellent bridges at a number of places for the people to cross over to the other side but those are only used by the cattle as they have more sense than the people, obviously!

    I use that road a lot. I have seen children cross that highway unattended. I have seen boys play cricket on the grass next to this main road with one person on the highway cause that’s where the boundary is.
    Next people would be crossing the airport runway to get to the other side as that’s just a shorter route to the school or some pharmacy.


  • Rizwan Khan
    Oct 25, 2013 - 10:47PM

    Very sad news :(
    May her Soul rest in peace
    Ameen !


  • Tazeem
    Oct 25, 2013 - 10:52PM

    It is requested to please pray for all of them. One of the girls is my sister. She is admitted in PIMS.

    Need Your prayers.


  • anon
    Oct 25, 2013 - 11:14PM

    There is not much information here about this incident so don’t want to comment on it but the comments are completely vile. Both drivers and pedestrians are reckless in pakistan, drivers drive too fast and almost never stop at zebra-crossings while pedestrians prefer to jaywalk.

    In civilized world, pedestrians have the right of way, if someone is waiting to cross the road, drivers are supposed to stop and let them pass but here apparently its fine to run someone over just to teach them a lesson. These bridges in Pakistan are extremely inconvenient, i doubt if any of the commenter had to cross the road, they would bother to go through the bridge.


  • sk
    Oct 25, 2013 - 11:28PM

    Very sad. Seat belt is necessary while driving. People should always cross road carefully.Recommend

  • Oct 25, 2013 - 11:37PM

    Even people who wants run over the pedestrian need lot of concentration and consciousness in such situations. Because its natural reflex to save anyone that suddenly comes in front of car. Moreover, its a split second decision so its not easy to run over pedestrian even if you wanted to do..


  • Kaleem
    Oct 26, 2013 - 1:46AM

    @Rehan, thats not good advise. In pakistan, killing a pedestrian means 6 months in jail if you own driving license, otherwise get ready for article # 302 to be applied. Just an advice, take MAX care while crossing the road, and wear seat belts, they are there for a purpose.


  • faheem
    Oct 26, 2013 - 4:06AM

    The pedestrians crossing wrongly should be punished as is done in civilized nations.


  • shahzaib
    Oct 26, 2013 - 5:29AM

    So sorry for the Loss… May Allaj give your sister good health nd fast recovery. These are from our dept. May Allah give peace to the dead, may Her soul rest in jannah…. Extremely sorry

  • amir shahzad
    Oct 26, 2013 - 10:23AM

    Very bad news……………..
    May Al-mighty ALLAH bless all of them who passes away in this accident.


  • Hadi Chohan
    Oct 26, 2013 - 11:56AM

    May Her Soul Rest In Peace… :'(


  • Jawwad sabir
    Oct 26, 2013 - 1:39PM

    what a sad news, how uneducated we are to cross the road like this risking others lives, i missed colliding with a man talking on phone and crossing the road looking at the other side.


  • Umair Khan Jadoon
    Oct 26, 2013 - 2:37PM

    @Umayr Masud:

    You are right but some imported used Japanese cars do not have airbags. I asked one car dealer and he said some cars are repaired after a major accidents and when they are refurbished, they do not put the airbags back in. Not sure if this is true. If the airbag light is on, means the airbag system is not functioning or the airbags are removed. Sometimes. mechanics modify/hack the digital system and turn off the airbag light forcefully.


  • Dr Jawad
    Oct 26, 2013 - 3:31PM

    7th avenue road is one of my favourite road. It is very sad to know about the acccident.
    On every entry point of this road, there is a Big Caution board for pedestrians reading ” ye sarak paedal cross krne ki ijazat nai, agr koi isay paedal cross kre tou KSI Hadsay ka zimmedaar khud hoga” something like this.
    Nobody cares for this. ITP people are very sincer and perform duty well, but, i would request them instead of pitting speed cams, spend sometime in catching pedestreans


  • iqra
    Oct 26, 2013 - 7:26PM

    may her soul RIP…


  • qasim
    Oct 27, 2013 - 12:15PM

    Awesome comment by Dr Jawad.

    Its absolutely nonsense what ITP is currently doing on Islamabad Expressway.

    Only justification i can understand for ITPS activity is to make money. highway is meant for high speeds and third lane is meant for overtaking and cruising!

    God bless us all !


  • ABKhan
    Oct 27, 2013 - 2:44PM


    I agree to what you said 100% even its written on 7th avenue that pedestrians are responsible for the accident if they try to cross the road instead of overhead bridge. But you know the police in our country, they just need an excuse to get someone and keep getting money from him/her for the rest of their life in case of a death in an accident where they were involved.


  • Wassay
    Oct 27, 2013 - 5:36PM

    There should be a law that could apprehend such careless pedestrians and be fined or even sentenced to death if s/he has caused a death of any individual in the car..


  • Ibrahim Dar
    Oct 28, 2013 - 12:45PM

    This is why seat belts are very important. I just can’t understand why its so hard to wear a seat belt?


  • aircop
    Oct 28, 2013 - 4:47PM

    @Umayr Masud:

    Airbags engages and become operational, as u buckle the seat belt.


  • Nauman
    Oct 28, 2013 - 5:22PM

    “why on earth she risk her own & others life to save that stupid? In the end it would’ve been multiple deaths but ALLAH saved them except 1, if encounter such situation hit that person without any regret”

    “While I agree with “its wise to run over the pedestrian then to risk passengers in your vehicle and other oncoming traffic.”. However I find the difficult to digest the fact that a car which hit a lamp post and then somersaulted over the divider to the opposite lane, was under 70 Km/h speed limit.”

    Wow, hats off to your logic and disregard for human life …


  • vaqas
    Oct 28, 2013 - 7:56PM

    Jap cars suck.


  • Moosa
    Nov 7, 2013 - 5:11PM

    If there are pedestrian overhead bridges, One should prefer to hit the pedestrians, instead of trying to save them.


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