Four men were killed and two critically injured in a road accident near Chinna Salem on Sunday evening. Initial reports suggested that all the seven passengers and driver were under the influence of alcohol and the vehicle was at a high speed.
Selvaraj (40) of Rayapanur, near Chinna Salem had visited the Adiperumal temple in Kalvarayan hills with his friends Manivannan (20) and Parthiban (25) of Melnariyappanur, Surya (25) of Narasingapuram, Thangadurai (35) and Alaguvel (35) of Kattukottai and Karthi (35) from Karu.
Palani (34) of V Koot road was driving when the group was returning home after conducting a puja. The driver lost control and the car was thrown into the air. The doors flew open before it hit a tree. Three of the travellers — Selvaraj, Surya and Karthi — died on the spot.
Villagers gathered at the spot and some started rescuing the men from the car. They informed the Chinna Salem police officials and a team along with Kallakuruchi DSP Mathivannan rushed to the spot. Five men who were injured were rescued and sent to the Chinna Salem GH. Among them, Thangadurai, Alaguvel and Manivannan were shifted to the Salem government hospital for further treatment. Thangadurai died at the hospital on Monday.Chinna Salem police filed a case and are investigating to find the reason for the accident.
Meanwhile, driver Palani escaped from the Chinna Salem hospital on Sunday night. Police were searching for him, since a case had been booked against him.
An eyewitness from the spot said the car was driven at a high speed and the men were drunk when villagers rescued them from the crushed vehicle. A police source also confirmed that the men were in an inebriated state.