“Driver was under the influence of alchohol”

Three friends, including one person who arrived recently from Malaysia on vacation, died in a crash after the car they were travelling in rammed a stationary tipper lorry at Choolaimedu in the wee hours of Sunday. Police said the driver was under the influence of alcohol.

Sources with the Anna Nagar traffic investigation identified the deceased as Akilesh Gupta (31) of Baraka Road, Kilpauk, Pratap Martin (30) of Neelakandan Street, Choolaimedu and Natesh (28) of Vasantham Colony, Anna Nagar. All three men were software engineers.

Akilesh and Natesh were working in Chennai while Pratap was employed with a firm in Malaysia and had come to Chennai on a break, police sources added.

“The accident occurred around 1.a.m. on Nelson Manickam Road when the Maruti Esteem car driven by Akilesh Gupta rammed into a tipper lorry parked on the road. Pratap died on the spot while his friends Akilesh and Natesh succumbed on the way to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital,” said S. Vijay Kumar, Inspector of Police, Anna Nagar traffic investigation.

The victims who had gone to attend a friend's wedding in Thirumangalam were heading to Neelakandan Street in Chooliamedu to drop Pratap at his residence. The speeding car crashed into the rear of the tipper lorry which was parked on the spot after its axle broke and the driver had gone to find a mechanic to fix the damage, the officer added.

Residents of the area who witnessed the accident alerted 108 ambulance service and Akilesh and Natesh were taken to the GH for treatment.

But they died on the way. The driver of the vehicle is suspected to have been in an inebriated state. Police also found alcohol bottles inside the car, Mr. Vijay Kumar added.

Bodies of the three men were handed over to the relatives after post-mortem.