A 13-year-old boy died on Thursday after a Chennai Corporation conservancy lorry hit him from behind on Dr. Ambedkar College Salai in Vyasarpadi.
Around 1.30 p.m., the victim, H. Irfan, a class VII student at Government High School in Vyasarpadi, was riding his bicycle to meet his father S. Hyder Ali at the latter’s kites-making shop in Pulianthope. The lorry, coming from MKB Nagar and headed towards a dumping yard in Basin Bridge, hit the cycle from behind. In the impact, the boy fell and the lorry’s rear wheel ran over him. Irfan died on the spot.
The lorry driver, R. Sankaran (62), a resident of Perambur, fled immediately. Traffic was hit for more than two hours after more than 500 residents blocked the busy stretch, demanding the immediate arrest of the lorry driver.
“Many important interior stretches in several areas like Vysarpadi, MKB Nagar, Pulianthope and Kodungaiyur are in a bad shape and are dotted with potholes. Despite many complaints and requests to re-lay these roads, the local body remains bureaucratic. On Thursday, none of the Corporation officials came to the accident spot to pacify the agitated crowd,” said K. Manoj, a relative of the boy.
A police contingent led by deputy commissioner of police in-charge (Pulianthope) Xavier Dhanasekar came to the spot and tried to pacify the agitated residents, who refused to disperse until the lorry driver was arrested. Residents also shouted slogans against the Corporation for employing drivers on contract basis, with little emphasis laid on safe driving.
After more than two hours, the police managed to pacify the crowd and Irfan’s body was shifted to Government Stanley Hospital for a post-mortem examination. A case under section 304A (rash and negligent driving) of IPC was registered by the Kilpauk traffic investigation team.
“Later in the day, the lorry driver was arrested. As the stretch was relatively free of traffic at the time of the accident, the driver might have been speeding and caused the accident,” said traffic investigation officer Appadurai.
Corporation sources said unlike nearby stretches such as Muthu Mudali Road, which is narrow and damaged with potholes, the one-km-long Dr. Ambedkar College Salai is spacious with a width of 40 feet, excluding its footpaths. However, police sources said, a lack of speed breakers on the bitumen-laid stretch makes it easy for motorists to travel at high speeds, especially during lean hours.