CHENNAI: A Class 8 girl headed to school was run over by a rashly driven Metro Water's lorry just 100 meters away from her house on New Avadi Road, Kilpauk on Thursday. Police said the water tanker, plying on contract for the Metro Water board, was speeding when it hit from behind the motorbike in which the 12-year-old Jemima Achu Mathew was riding along with her uncle Jino Alex and 4-year-old cousin.
While the Jemima Achu's uncle and cousin fell on the other side, the girl, who was riding pillion, fell on the lorry's path. “The lorry’s wheel ran over the girl’s head instantly killing her. The other two suffered minor injuries and are now undergoing treatment at a private hospital,” said a police officer from Anna square traffic investigation team. The accident took place in the morning peak hour at around 7.45 and hardly a few meters away from the family's house at Kilpauk.
“Since heavy vehicles should not ply after 8 am, the driver was speeding to reach at his halt point at Aminjikarai,” said a police officer. It was said that the water tanker driver M Govindharaj was continously honking as he was speeding on the road. "Jino Alex had just then entered the New Avadi Road from the side road and on seeking the lorry approaching fast and honking, he moved to corner of the road when a bumper in front of the lorry hit the motorbike pushing all three on the road," said, Sub Inspector of police Arunachalam, who reached the spot soon after the accident.
While Jemima Achu came under the wheels and died on the spot, the two others escaped with minor injuries. Jemima Achu, a native of Alleppey, was staying with her mother and her relatives at Mandapam Road in Kilpauk. As per their daily routine, on Thursday Jino Alex was taking his 4-year-old daughter and Jemima Achu to school when the accident took place.
Had Jemima worn a helmet, she might have survived, said a few of the family friend waiting at the mortuary in Kilpauk Medical College Hospital. But Jino Alex was inconsolable and was almost lost his senses. “He is blaming himself for the death of his niece,” said his friend waiting near the mortuary.
Jemima, was considered to the brightest student of the class and an excellent singer. "She is one of the class topper. Jemima was also a part of the school music team. She performed dance and singing during the annual day celebration in the school a few days ago. She was also assigned to perform singing and drama in the Christmas day celebration on Saturday,” said Michael, Jemima’s classmate.
"Her 13th birthday is just three months away. We were planning to gift her a keyboard," one of her uncle. “At such a young age she used to sing well at the church choir and at times she leads prayer songs alone,” said Gijo, one of the member of the church. Jemima’s body is scheduled to be taken to her native in Alleppey on Friday.
Govindharaj, aged 26, has been arrested on charges of causing death by negligence and remanded in judicial custody.