Alcohol level of AP driver beyond legal limit: officer

Toll in Friday's accident in Chittoor rises to 16

Alcohol level  of AP driver beyond legal limit: officer

The driver of the truck that mowed down 14 protesters in Yerpedu in Chittoor district on Friday was drunk beyond the legal limit, investigators said.

The toll rose to 16, with the death of two of the injured, including Telugu TV channel reporter Balamurali, who was covering the protest against the sand mafia. The journalist succumbed at SVIMS hospital in Tirupati.

The alcohol level in driver Guravayya’s blood sample was 287 mg/dl against the legal limit of 30 mg/dl.
Guravayya, who drove the truck laden with 25 tonnes of fertiliser from Maabubnagar, is said to have steered the vehicle for 17 hours without a break before losing control.

Sullurupet RTA (road traffic accident) authorities said the driver drove the 14-wheeler truck with a four-wheel commercial driving licence, which he got two years ago.

Preliminary investigation revealed that Guravayya (33) had consumed alcohol in Mahbubnagar on Thursday and had drunk some more at Kadapa on Friday morning, hours before ploughing the truck into protesters and bystanders.

Drunk, tired, says RTA
“Guruvayya was drunk and tired,” an RTA officer said, confirming that the truck purchased by T Ramesh of Nayudupet two months ago was in good condition.

“He stepped on the accelerator instead of the break as he was arguing with the cleaner seated beside him. The truck hit the electric pole and then the crowd,” the officer said.

The 14 people protesting before the Urban SP office at the Tirupati-Kalahasti road belonged to Munagalapalem village. They have been fighting against the sand mafia in the village for the past two months.

Families of the deceased expressed anger at Andhra Pradesh IT and Panchayat Raj Minister Nara Lokesh and former minister Bojjala Goapalkrishna Reddy, who were in Munagalapalem, for turning a blind eye to the sand mafia.

Lokesh told the victims’ kin that the government would give a further Rs 5 lakh in addition to the Rs 5 lakh compensation announced earlier.
 

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