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6 Indian Family Members Killed In Fatal Crash In US

The accident occurred on Tuesday evening near Johnson County, near Fortworth, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

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Car-truck collision in Rajasthan.(Representational image)
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In a horrific accident, at least six members of an Indian family, including two children, were killed when their minivan collided head-on with a pickup truck in the US state of Texas, officials said.

The accident occurred on Tuesday evening near Johnson County, near Fortworth, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Seven people of the same family from Amalapuram town in Andhra Pradesh were in the minivan, and only one of them, 43-year-old Lokesh Potabathula, survived with critical injuries.

Authorities identified those who died as Potabathula's wife, 36-year-old Naveena Potabathula; the couple’s children, 9-year-old Nishidha Potabathula and 10-year-old Krithik Potabathula; and Naveena Potabathula’s parents, 60-year-old Sitamahalakshmi Ponnada and 64-year-old Nageswararao Ponnada. The DPS identified the driver of the minivan, 28-year-old Rushil Barri of Irving, as one of the deceased victims.The elderly were visiting their daughter Naveena and grandkids Karthik and Nishita from India, the Consulate General (CG) of India in Houston said.

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According to the Indian mission, the couple was working for TCS on an L1 visa. After death certificates are issued, the arrangement will be made to send bodies home. The victims were relatives of Mummidivaram MLA P Venkata Satish Kumar.

According to DPS investigators, the pickup truck was driving southbound on US Highway 67 near County Road1119 at around 4 pm on Tuesday, when the minivan was in the same area, heading north. The pickup entered the northbound lane, in a no-passing area, and collided with the minivan head-on. Photos from the crash site showed pieces of the two mangled cars covering the highway. Broken glass and vehicle debris were scattered on the ground.

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"It’s a devastating scene and very emotional for all involved," read a Facebook post from the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.The DPS said visiting parents and both children were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. The occupants of the pickup truck were two 17-year-old boys who survived the crash with critical injuries and were taken to a hospital in Fort Worth along with Lokesh.

Highway 67 was closed for hours but has since reopened. The DPS thanked the Indian Consulate, the India Association of North Texas, the Georgia State Police and the Jones Creek Police Department for their assistance in locating next of kin.

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