Lorry driver dozed off or was overspeeding, reveals KSRTC bus accident probe

Palakkad: The Kerala Motor Vehicles Department, which conducted preliminary investigation into the bus-lorry collision in Avinashi near Coimbatore on Thursday that killed 19 persons, has found that lorry driver's fault had caused the accident.

The container lorry had crashed into the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation's Bengaluru-Ernakulam Volvo bus on the Salem-Kochi National Highway near Avinashi in the Tirupur district of Tamil Nadu in the early hours of Thursday.

Regional Transport Officer (Enforcement) P Sivakumar would submit the preliminary report to the Transport Commissioner on Saturday.

As per the findings, technical flaws with the container lorry is unlikely to have caused the accident .

The probe found that the lorry driver would have fallen asleep or would have negotiated a curve at high speed. This would have caused him to lose control over the lorry, which jumped over the divider and entered the opposite lane, The Hindu reported on Saturday.

There are marks of lorry tyre being dragged along 60metres of the track on the side of the divider. When a speeding heavy vehicle were rubbed against the divider, the tyres would have heated up and one of it could have came off from the wheel drum.

As the wheel drum was dragged over the divider, the other tyres too burst and the lorry might have tilted. This impact broke the platform lock, releasing the container box, which rammed the KSRTC bus coming from the opposite direction, the RTO said in the report, chronicling the likely series of events.

As the container lorry was registered only six months ago, it is unlikely that the tyres would have any other flaws.

Soon after the accident, driver Hemaraj had fled the spot. He later surrendered before the police.

However, before surrendering he had called a relative over phone and said, "The lorry met with an accident. I thought some people got injured. But now it is being said that many were killed. Therefore, I am surrendering before the police."

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