Six members of a family from Nadia’s Ranaghat, on their way to a picnic at Hazarduari, were killed when a speeding truck rammed into their pick-up van on NH12 in Rejinagar, Murshidabad before daybreak on Tuesday. Samir Malakar, a pandal-maker, who lost both his son and wife in the accident, had organised the picnic for 14 members, said sources. The family had hired the pick-up van and covered it with tarpaulin to protect themselves against cold.
They left their Ranaghat home around 1am on Tuesday and reached Rejinagar-Dadpur village on NH-12 around 5am when the driver of the pick-up van took a break to relieve himself. With the van parked along the highway shrouded in fog, visibility was poor. The speeding Berhampur-bound truck could not see the parked pick-up van and rammed into the vehicle from behind, killing four persons on the spot, police said. Two others of the family succumbed to their injuries later at the Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital in Berhampore. Eight other injured members are undergoing treatment at the hospital.