FOURTEEN persons were killed and three others injured when the mini-truck in which they were travelling collided with a truck near Valthera village in Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad late on Friday night. Koth police said the accident took place around 11:30 pm on Friday. The mini-truck and the truck collided head-on near the approach road of Valthera village on Bagodara-Kheda highway.
“The two vehicles collided head-on as one of the drivers erred in judgment while trying to overtake some other vehicle. Of the 17 persons travelling in the mini-truck, 14 were killed on the spot as the truck loaded with ceramic tiles hit the smaller vehicle with high impact. The deceased belong to three families from Sokhda village near Rajkot,” Dholka circle police inspector Smitesh Solanki told The Sunday Express.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced an assistance of Rs four lakh each to next of kin of the deceased.
Police said that the deceased included two teenage boys. The three injured were first rushed to government hospital in Dholka and from there, they were referred to civil hospital in Ahmedabad for further treatment. “The victims were on their way back home after having darshan of goddess Kali at Pavagadh in the Panchmahals district. The ceramic-laden truck was headed to Andhra Pradesh from Wankaner in Morbi district,” Solanki further said.
Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, who is the MLA from Dholka Assembly constituency, also rushed to hospital and instructed authorities to ensure all possible treatment to injured.
Police said that the truck driver ran away after the accident. “At the moment, three injured persons who are eyewitnesses, are not in a position to give statements. Therefore, we don’t know exactly how did the accident take place and as to who is responsible,” CPI Solanki, who is investigating the case, added.
On the basis of a complaint filed by one Jitesh Premjibhai, one of the three injured persons, Koth police have booked unidentified driver of the truck for causing death by negligence and rash deriving.
Those killed have been identified as Jagdish Vanaliya (32). Sagar Jhinjhariya (9), Damji Sarvaiyya (35), Dilip Jhinjhariya (28), Mehul Jhinjhariya (9), Jayesh Jinjhariya (25), Ramesh Jhinjhariya (17), Lalo Jhinjhariya (17), Ramesh Sarvaiyya (35), Jaydeepbhai Jhinjhariya (44), Sanjay Rathod (23), Jitesh Jhinjhariya (20), Rasik Meghani (23) and Shiva Jhinjhariya (40), police said.
Sokhda town observed bandh on Sunday as a mark of respect to the deceased.