'We are drowning slowly': Chilling moment two trapped women make desperate call to uncle as car sinks into lake
PERTH, AUSTRALIA: Two women who drowned after their car plunged into a lake have been identified by officials. Nidhi Lalji Hirani and Ruxmi Premji Vaghjihani, both 20 and best friends, were heading to work from their home in Perth when they drove into a lake in Aveley around 6.40 am on Sunday, September 11.
Investigators revealed that the duo was traveling in a white Toyota when they took a sudden right-hand turn off Egerton Drive at Gnangara Road and for unknown reasons continued driving across the median strip before falling into the lake.
The two Edith Cowan University students died at the scene despite passersby coming to their aid and trying to rescue them from the sinking car. They had tried to break through the windows unfortunately they were unsuccessful.
One of the initial responders, who identified himself as just Singh, told 7NEWS that as he could not swim he sought help from other people driving down the same road and managed to stop one man. This man swam to the car and tried to break the glass using a wrench. "I was the first one to notice them and when I stopped I could see that they had tried to smash the windows, but they could not get it open," Singh said, adding, "By the time he reached there, the car was completely under the water within two or three minutes. The cops were here within 10 minutes but it was too late. I think it’s tragic that we could not pull this off and I never expected it would end up like this,” Singh said.
As per officials, the pair had moved to Perth back in February and had been staying with Vaghjihani’s aunt and uncle. Vaghjihani’s uncle KP Halai said that just a few minutes before the tragedy, he received a call from his niece, who was pleading for help as they were stuck in the car and were not able to smash the window. “She said, ‘Uncle we’ve got an accident and our car is in the pond and we are drowning slowly’ and I’m like, ‘Where exactly are you?’ and I told her to try to open the door or try to break the glass and she said, 'We are trying but it’s not opening,'” Halai told 7NEWS. “As soon as I reached there I could hear them hitting the glass,” he added.
"It's early stages of the investigation. We haven't got anything other than we don't believe there's any other vehicle involved," Police Inspector Craig Collins said. Friends and family of the two are devastated after learning about what happened. Dhanji Bhudia, a close family friend of the two women, said that now he had the difficult task of informing the duo's families about their death.
“I was a little bit worried about how I would tell their parents. They went quiet for some time and obviously the mum started crying straight away. It was very, very hard to believe that they passed away and the circumstances. Even now we cannot understand that actually happened, Bhudia said. He revealed the two girls were deeply religious and used to visit the Shree Swaminarayan Temple quite often. He said that given their faith, alcohol or drugs could be ruled out “100 per cent” as a factor in the crash. “These girls are very, very well mannered, no alcohol, no smoking. We are a very strict religious group,” he said.