CHENNAI/THOOTHUKUDI: Twelve people were killed in three separate road accidents across the State on Monday, yet again raising concerns over road safety. Two of the accidents, each of which claimed five lives, occurred on major highways.
The first accident took place on Chennai’s outskirts near Madhuranthagam around 1 am when an SUV in which a family was travelling was parked along the Chennai-Tiruchy National Highway to refill engine oil. According to police, a government bus driver, unaware of the parked vehicle, rammed into it at great speed throwing the vehicle into a pool of water on the roadside. Of the seven occupants, five were killed on the spot. “I had just fixed the issue and closed the bonnet when I saw the bus ramming into the car. When I regained consciousness in the hospital, I was told that all my family members were no more,” said Ajith Kumar, who survived the accident because he was standing outside the vehicle. He was sure he had turned on the parking lights and wondered how the bus driver had missed it.
Around the same time, a speeding Mercedes Benz car on the Gandhi Mandapam Road at Kotturpuram killed two persons after it hit two motorbikes and a stationary car. One of the bikes was trying to cross the road to reach the Anna University when the accident happened. Merc driver Mugandran, who runs a software firm on the East Coast Road, has been arrested.
Thirteen hours later, an SUV carrying six of a family lost control after ramming the median near Kovilpatti on the Tirunelveli-Madurai Highway and collided head-on with a mini-truck coming on the opposite side of the road. Five of the six, including newlyweds Anandhalakhshmi and Saravanakumar, were killed on the spot. The family from Sivakasi was returning after shopping for Pongal festival in Tiru-nelveli.