Three members of a family travelling in a car were crushed to death on Sunday, when the vehicle collided with a bus, at Othakadai Pirivu on Madurai-Melur highway, here.
Five persons including Mariappan (67), son of Ammaiappan Nadar from Thalaivaipuram in Thoothukudi, his wife Dhanapathi (63), two grand children Pratik (10) and Priyasha (7), besides the driver Vijaykumar (25) were in the car proceeding to Chennai from Thoothukudi. A private bus coming in the opposite direction collided with the car at Othakadai junction on NH 45B near Malayalathanpatti.
Mariappan and Dhanapathi died on the spot, while Priyasha, one of the grand children, who was injured, died at a private hospital. The two other passengers are said to be in a critical conditions.
Police sources said, the car was travelling at a speed of over 120 kmph. The driver did not notice the bus till it was very close. When he applied brakes, he lost control of the car, said a sub-inspector from Othakadai police station, who filed a case is investigating.
The bus driver had tried to avoid the collision but the speed of the car did not give him much of a chance. “We had to use a crane to pull the crushed car from under the bus,” he added.
Locals said it was not new in that junction, as two or three accidents occurred every week. “As there is no proper board indicating the junction, vehicles do not slow down,” said Anbu Selvam, a driver of a 108 ambulance.
Sign boards should be erected one kilometer before the junction on both sides of the road, said a sub-inspector from Othakadai police station. More than 130 accidents happened in last one year; many small accidents would not come to our knowledge, he said.
At nights, the situation is worse since the light tower is not working for more than year. The highway department should take control of the light towers, which can play major part in avoiding accidents at the junctions, said a staff from Agriculture College.
District SP V Balakrishnan said the accidents also occurred due to wrong judgments from the vehicle drivers coming from Melur side. “So, we planned to convene a meeting for drivers of buses, taxis and autos, who use the junction frequently, to educate them.