Six members of a Moga family, including two Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), were among eight people killed when a speeding Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) — a Toyota Innova — collided with a truck at Pawat village near Machhiwara, 45 km from here, on Thursday around 8am. All eight killed were in the Innova as the driver reportedly attempted to overtake another vehicle resulting in the collision, the police said.
The family had hired the taxi from Moga and was headed to Anandpur Sahib to pay obeisance.
The deceased have been identified as Joginder Singh (42), Ranjit Kaur Gill (62), Mehakdeep Singh (18), Tanvir Singh (18), Manmeet Singh (16) and Kulvir Singh (23) — from the same family.
Manmeet and Tanveer were sons of Joginder Singh, who was a cousin of Ranjit Kaur Gill, an NRI. Ranjit and her grandson Mehakdeep Singh were scheduled to return to Canada on March 31.
The driver of the SUV, Surinder Pal Singh (35) and a helper accompanying the family Balbir Kaur (55) was also killed on the spot.
After the collision, the truck driver fled from the spot.
The accident caused a traffic snarl in the area. Police from Machhiwara and Samrala rushed to the spot and the bodies could only be extricated by cutting parts of the mangled SUV.
Khanna SSP Gurpreet Singh Gill said, “Prima facie, it seems that the SUV driver was overtaking another vehicle, resulting in a collision with the truck coming from the opposite side. All eight occupants of the Innova were killed on the spot. Machhiwara police have launched a search for the truck driver.”
Samrala DSP Jagwinder Singh Cheema and Machhiwara SHO Darshan Singh also reached the spot.
A case has been registered against the as yet unidentified truck driver under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of `50) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Machhiwara police station.
THE FATAL JOURNEY
• All eight occupants of the SUV driven by Surinder Pal Singh (35) killed during an overtaking attempt at Pawat village near Machhiwara around 8am.
• Six members of a Moga family, including two NRIs among deceased. The Canadian NRIs have been identified as Ranjit Kaur Gill (62) and grandson Mehakdeep Singh (18). They were to return to Canada on March 31
• The deceased have been identified as Joginder Singh (42), Ranjit Kaur Gill (62), Mehakdeep Singh (18), Tanvir Singh (18), Manmeet Singh (16) and Kulvir Singh — from the same family. Their helper Balbir Kaur (55) also killed.