Was on her way to college on scooter when water tanker hit the vehicle; classmates stage protest

A first-year engineering student died on the spot when the scooter she was on was hit by a water tanker in Sithalapakkam on Mambakkam Main Road near Tambaram on Wednesday morning.

 Sukanya (19) had missed her college bus earlier in the morning. As she did not want to be late to class, she was travelling pillion on a scooter driven by her mother, when the accident occurred. Angry students of her college gathered in the area, protesting her accident. They also threw stones and damaged the windshield of the tanker.

 Sukanya, was the daughter of Senthil and Lakshmi, residents of Karthikeyapuram Main Road, Madipakkam. She was studying at Prince Venkateshwara Padmavathy College of Engineering and Technology in Ponmar village – more than 15 kilometres away from her home.

 Around 9 a.m. at the Sithalapakkam junction, a speeding water tanker hit the scooter and dragged it for a distance of about 25 metres. While Lakshmi escaped with injuries and has been since declared out of danger, her daughter came under the wheels of the tanker and died on the spot.

The lorry driver Mathi (25), from Madurai, abandoned the vehicle and fled from the spot but was later arrested.

As news about the incident spread, the college declared a holiday and students from the college as well another institution gathered at the site of the accident and staged a protest.  

Traffic on Mambakkam Main Road was hit for a brief while until the agitated students dispersed after being pacified by traffic police officers. 

“She studied in my school from L.K.G. till class XII. She was a bright and a sincere student. She did not want to miss even one hour of college and so decided to come by scooter,” said K. Vasudevan, an educationist.

Police said the accident took place under the jurisdiction of the Madipakkam traffic police (enforcement). More than 35 kilometres of roads came under its jurisdiction including 17 kilometres on four arterial roads — Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road, Velachery Main Road, Medavakkam Main Road and the southern sector of Inner Ring Road. However, the station has barely over a dozen personnel on its rolls, despite the original sanctioned strength being 30, a police officer said.