Seven people, including six of two families from Chandigarh, died when their tempo collided with a mini-truck amid fog in the early hours of Sunday at Dhakal village, around 7km from Narwana in Jind district.
At least nine people were injured in the mishap, which occurred around 5.30am when the families were on their way to Sirsa to attend a weekly congregation of the Dera Sacha Sauda.
"The driver of the mini-truck managed to leave the accident spot. We are trying to arrest him," said Narwana deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Rameshwar Singh.
Of the victims, all of the deceased and seven injured were relatives, including Pala Ram, 50, and his wife Phooli Devi, 45, whose son and two daughters were injured. Ved Pal, 40, and his wife Raj Bala also died, and their son also suffered injuries. Two sisters, seven and 12 years old, also died, while their parents and five-year-old brother escaped with injuries.
The injured were provided first aid at Narwana's civil hospital and then shifted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) at Chandigarh. The condition of two patients is serious.
Police said the villagers heard a loud boom after the collision and had started the rescue before approaching them. Dense fog that marred visibility on the road is seen as the plausible reason.
The stretch of National Highway 65 - a 3-km straight patch between Dhakal and Hathoi villages -- where the collision occurred has seen several such mishaps. Hisar additional sessions judge Pardeep Kumar had died in an accident barely a kilometre from Sunday's crash site on December 5.