Four killed in Sunday mishap; police blame poor illumination, lack of median

Sunday night’s accident on East Coast Road in Kanathur was found to have claimed another life, taking the total death toll to four.

The accident, which local residents blamed on the poor lighting on the stretch, occurred around 9 p.m., around 500 feet from Mayajaal.

According to police, Selvakumar (37) of Thiruvanmiyur, a manager in a private company, Tamilselvan, an advocate and Kannan, who works in a private company were driving towards Chennai from the direction of Mahabalipuram.

Meanwhile, Dhanasekhar (37) who runs a fruit shop in Thirukazhukundram, his son Monish (7), his mother-in-law Kalaiselvi (57) and her mother Manonmani (75) were returning from Chennai to their home.

Their vehicles met in a head-on collision in Kanathur.

Selvakumar, Dhanasekhar, Manonmani and Kalaiselvi died on the spot, while Tamilselvan and Kannan sustained serious injuries and are recuperating in a private hospital. Monish sustained a leg injury.

Police officers ascertained that neither of the drivers was drunk.

Just three months into this year, ECR — one of the city’s most scenic stretches — has already had eight fatal accidents. Residents and police say that most of these occur due to poor lighting and the lack of a median.

“There is proper street lighting until Akkarai, but beyond that, the illumination is scanty. Motorists can barely see people standing right in front of them,” said a police officer.

Even police officers dread using the stretch.

“Cars and bikes travel at high speed and pedestrians become easy targets when they cross the road. We have been requesting the Highways Department and the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company Limited to construct a median here, but to date, nothing has been done. Both agencies say the width of the road is not sufficient to build a median,” he added.

Another problem that the traffic police face is the need for more manpower.

“We have the sanctioned strength of personnel, but most of them are used as drivers and for administrative purposes. We need more personnel to regulate traffic here,” said the police officer.

However police sources claim that the number of accidents on this stretch has come down.

“We have intensified checks here and are cracking down on speeding and drunken driving,” said another officer.

Deathly ride 

Fatal accidents on ECR in 2013

January - 5 

February - 1

March - 2

History of death

December 2012 - Five men including a police officer die on the spot after their speeding vehicle crashes into a stationary sand lorry in Kanathur

October 2012 - Eight persons injured when a bus loses control and topples in Kanathur

August  2011 - Two engineering students die when their car collides head on with a bus in Uthandi

July 2011 - Three software professional are killed in a car accident in Nemmeli

Feb 2010 - Nine-year-old boy dies after the call taxi he was travelling in with his family collides with garbage truck in Uthandi

More In: Chennai | News