Class VI student was on her way to school when vehicle hit her bicycle from behind

It was only after K. Abirami was promoted to class VI that her parents allowed her to go to school on her bicycle. On Wednesday, just 10 days after her school reopened, that decision proved fatal.

At 7.45 a.m., when the 12-year-old from Mogappair West was riding through Mohanram Nagar, a sewage lorry hit her bicycle and ran her over. Abirami died on the way to hospital.

The daughter of Kaviarasan and Thangapushpam, Abirami lived with her family in the 4th block of Mogappair West. She was studying at Spartan Matriculation Higher Secondary School, also in the area.

Abirami left her home at 7.15 a.m. According to eyewitnesses, she was just crossing a junction, when the lorry hit her.

“I heard a girl cry out and when I stepped out of my shop, I saw the lorry’s rear wheel over a child. If it had just run her over, she may have had serious injuries but would have survived. But the vehicle reversed over her body and then drove forward again,” said an employee at a shop opposite the site of the accident.

Local residents who saw Abirami lying in a pool of blood rushed her to a private hospital in an autorickshaw. However, doctors at the hospital declared her ‘brought dead’.

Driver beaten up

Angry locals then caught the lorry driver Ravi, and thrashed him before handing him over to the police. Ravi has now been arrested.

At 11 a.m., silence hung heavy over the street where Abirami used to live. The huge black front door of her home was wide open, and relatives were sobbing inside. Her younger brother, Tarun Kumar, an LKG student, was sitting with his uncle, Azhagurajan and looking at his sister’s picture, not having understood that she was dead.

“Abirami was born after her parents had been married for 15 years. They adored her. Until she was in class V, her parents used to drop her to school. It was only from this year that she was allowed to ride her bicycle,” said Azhagurajan. Even then, her parents were concerned about her safety and insisted on following her till she reached school.

“Even on Wednesday, they asked Abirami to go ahead and were going to follow her. But the accident took place before they left,” said Sakthivel, manager at Abirami’s school.

Sakthivel said Abirami was a bright student and used to score above 90 per cent in all her examinations. “She was very friendly and was a disciplined child. She wasn’t very mischievous,” he said. The school mourned her death on Wednesday.

Parents stage road roko

In the evening, several parents protested in front of the school, condemning Abirami’s death and demanding more safety on the roads for children. They organised a human chain on Tiruvalluvar Salai and then staged a road roko.

“We want the government to ensure that lorries do not ply between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., as this is when schoolchildren are on the roads,” said M.K. Vasudevan, a protester.

Police said the accident had taken place because of a lack of space by the sides of the road. “Most residents on that stretch park their cars right in front of their houses. So children on bicycles are forced to jostle for space on the road along with other heavy vehicles,” said a senior police officer.

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