The sudden and tragic demise of Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai actress Vaibhavi Upadhyaya sent shockwaves throughout the film industry. Vaibhavi, 32, met with a car accident while on vacation with her fiance in Himachal Pradesh, leaving everyone in disbelief. Vaibhavi Upadhyaya’s last rites were held on Wednesday, May 24 in Mumbai.
Speaking to ETimes, the actress’ brother Ankit bravely shared the sequence of events that led to the devastating accident. “It all began when I got a call from the police in Himachal Pradesh. I just couldn’t believe it. I went numb,” Ankit said.
He added, “I was told that a heavy vehicle had brushed her vehicle that too at its rear when it had almost passed it cleanly and her car toppled in a ditch (valley). My sister was thrown outside the car. The locals gathered and took her to a hospital almost immediately. But she was declared dead on arrival.”
Ankit further informed that Vaibhavi’s fiance Jai Gandhi, who was driving the car was trapped inside the vehicle for a few minutes until some locals arrived to rescue him. Ankit further shared that Jai had to break the windshield in order to free himself.
Ankit disclosed that the incident occurred on a regular lane. “Jai and Vaibhavi’s car was adjacent to a ditch, which was between two shops when a truck coming from the opposite direction brushed it,” he revealed.
Ankit emphasised that Jai was driving at a moderate speed during the accident, and both he and Vaibhavi were not under the influence of alcohol. He also provided reassurance that Vaibhavi was wearing her seatbelt, as confirmed by the postmortem examination, which revealed marks on her body indicating the use of it. Jai was also wearing his seatbelt.
“The police had detained Jai after the accident as the prime suspect. I rushed to Himachal Pradesh and got him released. They didn’t even allow him to see Vaibhavi until I reached. They wanted someone from Vaibhavi’s family to give a statement before they would let him go,” he added.
When Ankit received the call from the police about the accident, his parents were on vacation in Australia staying at his aunt’s place. Unsure of what to do, he contacted his aunt and they made the decision not to reveal the news to his parents. Instead, they informed them that Vaibhavi Upadhyaya had been injured and quickly arranged their tickets back home. It was only upon their arrival in Mumbai that they disclosed the tragic truth to his parents.
Ankit further said that his mother has been unable to cope with the loss. “She is weak. My father has been trying to put up a brave front,” he said adding that they still haven’t been able to process it.
Jai Gandhi and Vaibhavi Upadhyaya had plans to finalise their wedding date once they returned to Mumbai. The wedding would have taken place either by the end of this year or early in 2024.