A pilgrimage to the Saneeswarar temple at Thirunallar ended in tragedy for five persons, including a Sub Inspector of Police, who were killed on the spot after a car in which they were travelling rammed a sand-laden truck at Muttukadu on East Coast Road early on Saturday.

The car was driven by Suresh Kumar (39), a realtor from Parivakkam in Poonamallee. The co-passengers were his friends from Gummudipoondi.

According to Adyar traffic investigation sources, the accident took place at 12.05 a.m. near the Kanathur police station.

Suresh Kumar and Tulasi (47), an SI attached to the Arambakkam police station in Tiruvallur district, Bhaktavatsalam (60), a farmer, Senthil Kumar (39), a transport agency owner, and Arumugam (31), a petty shop owner, were inside the car, which was travelling at a speed of over 100 km.

In the impact of the crash, the car got stuck beneath the rear of the lorry and its roof was partially ripped off, the sources said.

Speaking to The Hindu, Bhaktavatsalam’s nephew Thangamagan of Nagarajakandigai village in Gummidipoondi said that his family came to know about the accident at 12.30 a.m.

“A policeman called me from my uncle’s handset, which was lying at the accident spot. The five had left for the temple from Gummidipoondi on Thursday night and were supposed to return by noon on Saturday. Suresh Kumar had purchased the car recently,” Mr. Thangamagan said.

The police suspect that Suresh Kumar might have dozed off.

Preliminary investigations were carried out and the bodies shifted to the Government Royapettah Hospital for post-mortem.

The mangled car and the truck were brought to the traffic police station.