A 24-year-old scientist working with the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), T.R. Sunil Kumar, died in a road accident on Velachery Main Road in Pallikaranai on Saturday night.

The victim was riding pillion on a motorcycle with his friend. They were going to Velachery for dinner.

Kumar was the elder son of Rajendran and Manjula and living in VGP Babu Nagar, Medavakkam. A scientist at the NIOT in Pallikaranai for the past seven months, Kumar reached home on Saturday evening after a function at the institute. He got a call from a friend, Abel, living nearby.

According to traffic police and neighbours, Kumar, riding pillion on a motorcycle, gave his helmet to Abel.

At around 9 p.m., when the two got down from the grade separator in Pallikaranai, a speeding two-wheeler rider entered Velachery Main Road from Mylai Balaji Nagar.

Abel applied the brakes to avoid a collision but lost control and both the friends were thrown off the bike.

Kumar hit a median and sustained head injury. He was rushed to a private hospital in Pallikaranai and shifted to a specialty hospital in Chennai, where he died after 11 p.m. Abel sustained injuries and was hospitalised, police said, adding that he was out of danger.

NIOT officials said that Kumar was a Junior Scientist ‘B' and was part of a team working on desalination projects.