A student of Indian-origin was killed and seven others were injured when their van hit a guardrail in southern Virginia, police said on Sunday.
21-year-old Kammini Ragoopath of Pennsylvania was travelling without wearing her seat belt and was thrown out of the rear window when the accident took place in the early hours yesterday, sergeant Thomas J. Molnar was quoted as saying by Philadelphia Inquirer.
Ragoopath and other members of Temple University Bhangra dance team, were travelling to North Carolina for a competition. Bilal Badruddin (20), one of the team members and driver of the van “was tired and possibly fell asleep,” Molnar said, adding he is charged with reckless driving.
Manisha Modi, a passenger of the van who had broken her jaw and collarbone, called the crash “a freak accident”…
“There wasn’t anything that was out of control or irresponsible. There’s no one to blame,” Modi (19) said.
Another student Fatima Pervaiz, 20, suffered serious injuries and was flown to a Richmond hospital. Badruddin, Modi and four other passengers were taken to a Petersburg hospital with minor injuries.
“The loss of a member of our community is never easy, and the sudden death of one of our students is particularly heartbreaking,” Temple President Ann Weaver Hart had said.
The team, which performs traditional Indian dances, was travelling for ‘Virsa Punjab Da’, or Heritage of Punjab, competition. Eight of the club’s 11 members made the trip.