Injured include three children of a family and two workers; police nab driver

For over 12 hours, Malini, a daily wage labourer, sat outside the ICU of Government Hospital for Children, Egmore, and wept. Two of her children, sleeping near a bus shelter on Pantheon Road, were run over by a car in the early hours on Thursday. Both were badly injured.

Five persons, including three children were wounded when, around 1.30 a.m., a speeding car hit a police patrol vehicle and swerved into the bus shelter where they were sleeping.

According to police, the collision occurred just as the patrol vehicle was turning into Government Hospital for Women and Children, on the same road.

“The driver lost control and swerved into the bus shelter. Two men, Mohammed and Mani, who were placing hoardings at the shelter, were knocked down and injured. The car then ran over the children who were sleeping nearby, and finally came to a halt after slamming into an autorickshaw,” said a senior police officer.

The occupants of the car were Shaju Purushottaman, son of M.P. Purushothaman, chairman of the Empee Group, the driver Kumar and two others.

“All of them had been drinking at an apartment on Halls Road, and were going to the beach through Pantheon Road. We nabbed Kumar, but the rest are absconding. Kumar claims he was driving the vehicle, but we strongly suspect Shaju was behind the wheel,” said the police officer.

While police have launched a search for the other occupants of the car, Malini, and her husband Thyagu, are waiting for updates on their children’s conditions.

Their older son, T. Muniraj (13), suffered a pelvic fracture and abdomen injuries. “A vascular surgeon from Government General Hospital operated on him. It will take him a long time to recover,” said a hospital official.

Their younger son, T. Vasu (8), sustained injuries in the hip, but is out of danger. The children’s cousin, Subha (10) who was also with them, is undergoing treatment for multiple fractures at Government General Hospital.

The three children had come to spend their summer vacation with their grandmother Chandra, who sells night clothes and towels outside the Government Hospital for Women and Children.

“Subha is my daughter’s child and lives in Aynavaram. The two boys are my son’s children and they stay in Chintadripet,” said Chandra.

Chandra said that when the car hit them, the children were thrown on to the road.

“It was like a scene out of a movie. I have been doing business in this place for 60 years but I have never seen anything like this. The children only arrived on Wednesday evening and in less than 24 hours, this happened,” she said, crying.

Vasu, who was awake, said he only remembered the car hitting him. “I was sleeping and I suddenly woke up in excruciating pain,” he said.

Thyagu, an autorickshaw driver said all the children were in school and were doing well. “My sons wanted to get good jobs and help us live more comfortably,” he said.

Of the two workers, one sustained minor injuries and was discharged, while the other is still undergoing treatment.

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