On Wednesday morning, when homemaker Shanti of Saidapet bid farewell to her teenage son, who on his way to a NCC camp in Tambaram, little did she know that it would be the last time she saw him alive. A few minutes away from their home, the boy, who was walking to school with fellow cadets, was run over by a lorry.
Ajith Kumar (14), a resident of Old Mambalam Road in Saidapet and student of Chennai Boys High School in Manthoppu, had just finished his class X exams. “He was the NCC's air wing leader in school and often initiated camps for students. Even though we are on vacation, Ajith gathered a few junior boys and was heading to an air force camp for cadets in Tambaram,” said the victim's schoolmate, Arjun.
Around 6.15 a.m., Ajith left the house with fellow cadets, and they were walking on Jairam Street in West Saidapet, when a speeding lorry from adjoining S.V Koil Street, hit Ajith who was pushing a bicycle. He was caught under the wheels and died on the spot.
“The driver of the vehicle, Madhavan (47), from Saidapet, was speeding through the streets to get out of the city before 7 a.m., to avoid being intercepted by the traffic police,” said Ramesh, Inspector of Police, Guindy. Madhavan tried to flee immediately after the accident, but other motorists nabbed him and handed him over to the police. He was remanded to custody and sent to Puzhal prison and his lorry was seized.
The teenager's mother, Shanti, and his father Kumar, an autorickshaw driver, found out about their son's death when the boys who accompanied Ajith came running home and told them.
“The S.V Koil Street – Jairam Street junction is risky for pedestrians and two-wheeler riders in the morning, as heavy vehicles often take that route as a shortcut to reach Guindy,” said R. Sundaram, Ajith's uncle.
His friends, who had gathered for the funeral on Wednesday evening, said Ajith loved drawing and had learned yoga, which he was teaching friends and cadets.