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Nine people, including four children, died and a child was seriously injured after the MUV in which they were travelling rammed into a tree near Karnataka’s Dharwad town in the early hours of Saturday, the police said. There were 14 people in the vehicle at the time of the accident, they revealed.
The deceased have been identified as Ananya (14), Harish (13), Shilpa (34), Neelavva (60), Madhushri (20), Maheshwar (11), Shambulingayya (35), Channavva Banakar (45) and Manushri Basavaraj Dasankoppa (16), officers said, adding that Aradhya Huttamallanavar (5) is in a critical condition while the others who were injured are out of danger. All of them hailed from Benakinkatti village and were returning home after attending an engagement ceremony in Mansur.
The incident took place around 1.30 am near Bada village when the driver of the Force Trax cruiser lost control of the vehicle and rammed it into a tree, the police said. The vehicle got crushed in the impact, killing seven of the occupants on the spot, while the other two succumbed to injuries later, they added.
Dharwad rural police have registered a case and said that the injured have been shifted to KIMS Hospital. “The road was slippery as it was raining and the driver was speeding. We took information from the survivors and they said that they had asked the driver to go slow a couple of times but he did not pay heed,” a police officer said.
“He is not a professional driver but took up the job as the family had approached him for a trip on rent. Also, the vehicle was overloaded. A survivor told us that the driver was speeding despite being asked to go slow. Another vehicle overtook the MUV and he allegedly increased the speed in an attempt to overtake that vehicle. Before the occupants could react, the collision happened,” the officer said.
The police added that the accident took place at a distance of just two kilometres from the village of the deceased.
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