A woman was among six people crushed to death by an overloaded truck on Wednesday afternoon opposite the bus stand on a busy section of the National Highway-1 here.
The truck carrying plywood from Hoshiarpur to Samana first crashed into three motorcycles headed to Ludhiana before hitting a stationery auto-rickshaw and two passengers waiting for a bus.
Truck’s driver and owner Avtar Singh of Sangrur said he had lost control of the vehicle.
Of the victims, Parminder Singh (26) and auto-rickshaw driver Vijay Kumar (35) are from Phagwara; while Lakshman Kumar (45), Tinku (25) and Rohit (26) belong to Ludhiana. The woman who was killed was about 60 and is yet to be identified. A Jalandhar woman named Prabhat, who was in the bus queue when injured seriously in this accident, was referred to Jalandhar from the Phagwara Civil Hospital.
From the huge crowd drawn to the spot by the news of the accident¸ some people moved the injured to the local civil hospital. The Phagwara station house officer (SHO) led the police inspection of the scene of accident. “The truck hit the three motorcycles from behind and dragged these a few metres. On the link road, it ran into waiting passengers and a three-wheeler,” said a police officer.
Police said it seemed to them that the truck driver had got confused on losing control of the vehicle and not applied brakes. Phagwara deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Manpreet Singh Dhillon said that the truck driver had fled the scene but, later, arrested.
Police have impounded the truck and registered a case against its driver under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 279 (rash driving on a public way) and 427 (mischief causing damage to property) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).