For 19-year-old Katikaneni Jayanth, what started off as a road trip to his native town to celebrate his elder sister's engagement turned into a nightmare in a matter of minutes. The family was travelling near Medipally in Jagtial district and were just an hour away from Joginpalli, their hometown when the unthinkable occurred- their car plunged into a canal.
Jayanth’s father, 58-year-old Katikaneni Amarender Rao, an advocate, was driving the Maruti Alto car while his mother Katikaneni Sirisha (52) and sister Katikaneni Shreya (27) were also seated in the vehicle. Suddenly, his father lost control of the car and the vehicle plunged into the Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) main canal near Medipally. His family drowned as the car went further into water pushed by strong currents. Jayanth managed to just about swim to safety.
The family residing at Jagtial town was heading to their native village at Joginpally to attend the Sri Venkateswara Swamy Jatara, to get blessings ahead of the wedding. The accident took place under the Medipally police station limits, barely 30 minutes after the group began its journey. The family had left their residence at 5.05 am and their car plunged into the water at around 5.40 am.
Sudheer Rao, Inspector Medipally police station told TNM the road from where the vehicle veered off into the canal was empty at the time of the accident, “We suspect that the driver of the car must have dozed off. The family was going to their native for a two day religious function at the temple,". Jayanth who survived the crash was stable but in shock informed the officer, “We are yet to record his statement,” he added.
Katikaneni Shreya has been working with IBM in Hyderabad since 2016. The family are distant relatives of Jagiral MLA Sanjay Kumar, informed the police officer.Jayanth studies at a private institution in Hyderabad.
Police and Fire Department officials on Monday morning retrieved the car that fell in the canal. The bodies of all the three persons were also recovered and sent for post mortem to the Jagtial Government hospital.