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Three Indians killed in road mishap in US

December 15, 2012 23:44 IST

Three members of a Sikh family were killed when their car was rear-ended at high speed by an SUV while they were trying to fix a flat tire on Friday in Redwood City, California.

The incident happened at Interstate 280.

The San Mateo County coroner's office said Manjit Kaur, 48; her son Manpreet Singh, 28; and daughter Jasdeep Kaur, 21, were killed in the crash, according to Mercury News.

All were pronounced dead at the scene. Amarjit Singh Multani, 56, survived the crash but was taken to a hospital with "moderate to major" injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening, said California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel.

The 83-year-old who struck the car was taken to Stanford Hospital with minor injuries. He could face criminal charges of felony vehicular manslaughter.

According to media reports the victims were traveling north on Interstate 280 in a tan Lexus and were just north of the Edgewood Road off ramp when they apparently got a flat tyre and pulled the car over next to the highway median. At around 3:10 pm, a black Volkswagen Tiguan SUV "for unknown reasons swerved into the center divide and collided with the Lexus," Montale said.

He said at least one of the victims, Manpreet Singh, was outside the Lexus at the time of the crash and "may have been working on the tire." Montiel said the decision on whether charges will be brought against the driver will be based on factors including the speed he was traveling and results of drug tests.

Debris and automotive fluids were spread across traffic lanes following the accident, and both vehicles were "pretty much gone," Montiel said. Four out of the five lanes remained closed into the evening, causing significant delays in the area as well as on alternative routes as drivers sought to avoid 280.

Satnam Singh Chahal, president North American Punjabi Association, and a close friend of Amarjit Singh Multani, said Multani is native of Hoshiarpur in Punjab. "We express a grief, sorrow and condolence on the very terrible road accident," he said.

Ritu Jha in California