CHENNAI: Three women and a young boy, including a mother and son, on a pilgrimage to Melmaravathur temple, were mowed down to death, while crossing GST Road, by a speeding private bus in the wee hours of Tuesday.
Four other pilgrims sustained injuries in the accident and were referred to a private hospital in the city.
Police in Kancheepuram said Padmavathi (36), her son Divakar (12), and Muniyammal (55), died on the spot. Amudha (40), another pilgrim, died after being rushed to the Chengelpet Government Hospital.
According to police, a group of people from Mathur Pillaiyar Kovil Street near Vallam in Sriperumbudur were on their annual pilgrimage ahead of Thaipoosam festival, a tradition they have been following for the past eight consecutive years. The group reached Melmaravathur at 1.30 am on Tuesday in two vans after leaving their home at around 9 pm on Monday night. They alighted from the vans opposite the temple and as they were crossing the road to reach the temple, a speeding bus ploughed into the group, killing the four and injuring four more, before speeding away from the spot.
The four others who were injured - Marimuthu, Munusamy, Krishnan and Tamil Selvan - were taken to the government hospital in Chengalpattu and later to a private hospital in Chennai.
“The group was heading toward a water body near the temple to take bath when the accident took place. They were careful while crossing the road, but the private bus, which was over-speeding, ploughed through the crowd and sped away,” a police official said. “We alerted all the toll gates in the vicinity, but there was no trace of the vehicle initially. An hour later, the bus was traced crossing the toll-gate ahead of Tindivanam. The Chennai-based private travels management agreed to produce the driver for further action,” the official noted.
The driver was booked on charges of rash and negligent driving and further investigations are on.