Driver negligence said to be the cause
Five persons were killed and nine others injured when a sports utility vehicle hit a roadside tree at Oththakadai Vilakku near Manamadurai on Saturday.
Police said that the occupants were on a pilgrimage to Rameswaram from Sriramapuram and surrounding villages in Dindigul district. As many as 14 persons, including five children, were travelling in the vehicle when the accident took place. Members of three families, led by Murthy, Maheswaran and Basavaraj from Mahaboob Nagar in Andhra Pradesh, were in the vehicle. The front portion of the vehicle was smashed beyond recognition in the collision.
Murthy (51) and his wife Sellam (40), Gowtham (18), M. Akshaya (3) and Gopal of Chellakuttiyur in Dindigul district , who suffered extensive injuries, died on the spot. Injured persons were admitted to hospitals in Sivaganga and Madurai.
On information, police and ambulance personnel rushed to the spot and retrieved the bodies and transported the injured persons to hospitals.
Negligence on part of the driver is said to have caused the accident, which occurred in the wee hours.
Based on information provided by those who escaped in the accident, a large number of relatives and friends came to the hospital in Manamadurai to offer condolence. Top police officials visited the spot and enquired about the cause of the accident. A case has been registered by the Manamadurai police.