HomeIndian AmericanWrong-way driver collides into van. 6 killed
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Wrong-way driver collides into van. 6 killed

Friends and family are mourning the deaths of six people in Texas killed when a wrong-way driver collided with their minivan.

Authorities say a 17 year old driving a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado driving south on U.S. Highway 67 crossed into the northbound lane in a “no-passing” zone in Johnson County, reported NBC News. It struck a 2021 Honda Odyssey and killed six of the seven family members on board.

The lone survivor in the van is in the hospital in critical condition as is the teen driver and his passenger.

“We were like brothers,” said Ayyappala Bandaru about his roommate Rushil Barri to NBC DFW.  “He’s actually like my brother over here.”

Barri along with Naveena Potabathula, 36; Nageswararao Ponnada, 64; Sitamahalakshmi Ponnada, 60; and the children, Krithik Potabathula, 10, and Nishidha Potabathula, 9 have been identified as the fatal victims.

Bandaru told WSB he had been with all the victims in the van since the weekend.

Barri’s “family just came from Atlanta, so he just wanted to show them Dallas,” said Bandaru. “The final word I told him was ‘drive safe.’ And he did it. It was not his mistake.”

The Daily Mail reports that Barri moved from India to Dallas in 2020. The victims were Barri’s cousin, his cousin’s wife, two young children and in-laws.

“He had very big dreams,” Bandaru said about his roommate. “He always used to think about tomorrow. He used to be like ‘Man, we need to rule this world.’  We came here with a lot of struggles.”

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