A 26-year-man with mental illness met a tragic end when he was run over by a lorry while trying to escape from Institute of Mental Health at Ayanavaram on Monday morning. Hospital officials said the patient had made a similar attempt in February but was apprehended by hospital staff.
Sources with the IMH identified the patient as D. Sundar Raj, who was admitted to the hospital on December 10, 2011 by his mother Anjalai from Madanandapuram in Porur. “On Monday morning, he was present during breakfast, but was missing when nurses went to give medicines. Around 8.30 a.m. he managed to climb to the terrace of ward no 22 where he was lodged and jumped over to the terrace of a house adjacent to the hospital premises,” said a senior IMH staff.
Sundar Raj, who was clad in the navy blue uniform given to patients, tried to run away along Konnur High Road in Ayanavaram but was nabbed by members of the public. He managed to slip away from them but was accidently hit by a lorry, carrying ration goods to Red Hills, driven by Abdul Samath (38), and died on the spot.
Samath, who abandoned his vehicle and fled the scene after the accident, was later arrested by police from Otteri. A post-mortem examination was performed on Sundar Raj's body at the Government Kilpauk hospital. The body was handed over to his relatives on Monday evening, police added.
IMH sources said Sundar Raj was a factory worker and had only one visitor on January 14 after being admitted to the hospital for treatment. “We have been sending postcards to his mother Anjalai, a domestic help, to visit him but no one turned up. On February 28, Sundar Raj tried to escape from the hospital but our staff prevented him,” the IMH official added.
Sundar Raj's relative said Raj was a class IX dropout who was working at a factory near Porur.
He was married and has a child.
Following a brief illness six months ago, he was taken to a few doctors for consultation and was finally admitted to the IMH, he added.
Keywords: tragic death