Indian tycoon under investigation for double homicide after supercar ‘hell’ crash

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Rome: An Indian billionaire is under investigation for double homicide in Italy after he and his Bollywood star wife were involved in a horrific sports car crash in which two people burnt to death.

Vikas Oberoi, a property magnate and one of India’s richest men, was at the wheel of a Lamborghini Hurican as part of a supercar sports rally in Sardinia when Monday’s incident unfolded.

With him in the car was his wife, Gayatri Joshi, a Bollywood actress, model and former beauty queen.

Gayatri Joshi and Vikas Oberoi attend a comedy show in Mumbai, India, in July.Credit: Getty

In video footage that was captured by the dashcam of another car, the blue Lamborghini was filmed trying to overtake a large white campervan on a straight stretch of road near the town of San Giovanni Suergiu.

Seconds later, a red Ferrari Portofino tried to overtake at the same time.

The Ferrari hit the Lamborghini, pushing it under the rear of the campervan and causing the large white vehicle to flip over.

Video footage by the dashcam of another car shows the red car and the blue Lamborghini trying to overtake a large white campervan.Credit: Screengrab/Twitter

The camper was left lying on its side while the Lamborghini careered off the road and came to a stop, badly damaged, on the verge.

The Ferrari, meanwhile, flipped over in front of the camper van and immediately burst into flames, sending up a column of dense black smoke.

The occupants of the campervan escaped injury.Credit: Screengrab/Twitter

The Swiss couple inside, Melissa Krautli, 63, and Markus Krautli, 67, were unable to escape and burnt to death.

The occupants of the camper van, a couple from the German-speaking Sud Tyrol region of northern Italy, were injured and taken to hospital.

“We had almost arrived in San Giovanni Suergiu when we heard a terrible crash and I lost control of the camper. The vehicle overturned, we found ourselves with our heads upside down. For a moment we were silent in disbelief,” the husband told Italian media.

“Then I looked into my wife’s eyes and asked her if she was OK. She nodded and said ‘I think so’. When we came out, we thought we were in hell.”

Dashcam footage of the accident appears to show that both the Lamborghini and the Ferrari tried to overtake despite the road being marked with a solid white line, which forbids any such manoeuvre.

Oberoi and his wife reportedly escaped the accident unscathed.

“Vikas and I are in Italy. We met with an accident here. With God’s grace, we both are absolutely fine,” Joshi told an Indian news outlet.

But prosecutors in Sardinia have now placed Oberoi, 54, under investigation.

Giangiacomo Pilia, the lead prosecutor, said the Indian tycoon was being investigated for “double road homicide”.

Carabinieri police confirmed that he was on a list of suspects under investigation.

Prosecutors have obtained a number of videos from the crash site and were scrutinising them.

The drivers were taking part in an event called Sardinia Supercar Tour, in which top-end sports cars travel from the town of Teulada in southern Sardinia and end up in the town of Olbia on the north coast of the island.

Oberoi is the chairman and managing director of Mumbai-listed Oberoi Realty, a company known for building luxury properties, and is worth $US3.6 billion ($5.6 billion), according to Forbes.

He owns a Westin hotel in Mumbai and is building the city’s first Ritz-Carlton hotel but is not related to the family behind the famous Oberoi hotel chain.

Joshi is well known in India for appearing in the Bollywood hit film Swades, in which she played the love interest of megastar Shah Rukh Khan.

She and Oberoi married in 2005 and have two children.

Oberoi Realty said it would not comment on the crash.

“The relevant authorities are investigating the incident and until the facts are established, we won’t be able to comment on the matter,” the firm said in a statement.

The Telegraph, London

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