A rashly driven DCM van played havoc at Uppal rotary on Monday crushing to death two students of Kendriya Vidyalaya who were crossing the road along with their family members.
Four more sustained injuries in the accident that invited the wrath of locals who beat up the driver and set the vehicle afire. Reminiscent of the death of an LKG student in front of the St. Ann's school in Secunderabad five years ago, the tragedy once again exposed vulnerability of people crossing the road in the State capital.
The victims were Sri Nitya (11) and Akhila (8). While Sri Nitya was accompanied by her elder sister, Sri Megha, student of the same school, Akhila was walking along with her mother Lavanya, when the van mowed them down around 4 p.m. The van coming from Nagole side hit a motorcyclist before running them over.
“In the haste to cross the junction as the green signal turned yellow, the driver increased the speed and did not try to stop even after the signal turned red,” the Uppal Inspector, R. Satyanarayana Raju, said.
Death was instant for Sri Nitya of sixth standard who got crushed under the van.
Flung by the vehicle, her sister fell close to the rotary and fainted. She escaped with bleeding injuries on head and arms. Akhila of third standard suffered multiple wounds and was rushed to Kamineni hospital at L.B. Nagar. She died minutes later while undergoing treatment. Her mother, brother Nikhil (9), and their neighbourhood girl Anoosha who came to take her home also suffered injuries.
Enraged over the accident, locals assembled at the spot in huge numbers and attacked the van while some dragged out the driver and thrashed him. Tension prevailed in the area for sometime as the mob set the vehicle on fire forcing the police to use mild force to disperse the agitators.
“Rashness of the driver and lack of zebra crossings at the rotary claimed the lives of the kids. Our pleas for road markings over the years fell on the deaf years of civic authorities,” the police said. Sri Nitya's father, Jnaneshwar Goud, an auto-consultant at Saraswati colony, was shell-shocked on learning her death. Equally traumatised were the family members of Akhila.
Autopsy of the two bodies would be held on Tuesday at Gandhi morgue.