5 of family killed in accident

A stretch of the NH near Kammadatti was closed for two-way traffic

Fateful: The mangled remains of the SUV near Mulbagal. dh photo

N Murthy (55), chairperson of MM Educational Trust, his son Gagan (24), Venkatachalapathi (35), his wife Mamata (30) and  Pavithra (25), were killed instantly when the SUV they were travelling in collided with a speeding KSRTC Rajahamsa bus on NH 4 near Kammadatti in Mulbagal taluk.

They were all on their way to celebrate the wedding anniversary of Pavithra who died, and Shivakumar, who was severely injured in the accident.

Venkatachalapathi, Pavithra, Mamata and Murthy are said to be distant relatives of Home Minister R Ashoka.

They were all on their way to Tirupati when the accident occurred.

Police had a tough time as the bodies had to be extricated from the mangled car with the help of earthmovers and local residents. The bodies were later shifted to R L Jalappa Medical College.

Two-way closed

A stretch of the national highway near Kammadatti village has been closed for two-way traffic for repair work. Vehicles plying in either direction are allowed to drive on one side of the road.

However, there are no signboards to guide the drivers, residents of the nearby villages said, underlining that half a dozen accidents occurred on the stretch last year.

Family members in Bangalore told Deccan Herald that Venkatachalapthi had bought the SUV just a week ago, while Shivakumar’s wedding anniversary was on March 26. The family decided to visit Tirupati to celebrate.

The entire Patelappa Extension at Nagashettyhalli wore a deserted look by noon as news of the tragedy spread. Many shopkeepers downed the shutters.

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“Murthy was a highly respected person in the area because of his social work,” said Basavaraju, a neighbour.

The bodies reached the residence around 3.30 pm where thousands of neighbours and relatives had gathered.

Member of Parliament D B Chandre Gowda, former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu, MLAs C T Ravi and Krishna Byregowda were among the political leaders who met the family members and expressed condolences. The cremation took place 6 pm.
Police have arrested Gangadhar, driver of the KSRTC bus, on charges of rash and negligent driving.

The KSRTC has provided an immediate relief of Rs 15,000 to the kin of the dead.

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