Four persons, a man and his wife from Jharkhand, and the driver and helper of the truck on which they had hitched a ride, were killed when it crashed into another heavy vehicle coming from the opposite side on a highway near here, police said on Friday.
The incident happened on NH-31 in Naugachia police district in Bhagalpur in the early hours, and it left three others grievously injured.
The deceased have been identified as Gopal Pandey and his wife Usha Devi both residents of Ranchi and driver Gunjan and helper Sunil, who hailed from Nalanda district, Kharik police station SHO S N Chauhan said.
He said the Jharkhand couple were headed to Patna and after an arduous journey from Ranchi on a bicycle, because of the non-availability of vehicles due to the lockdown, they hitched a ride on the truck at Naugachia zero mile out of fatigue.
Ranchi is nearly 400 km from Naugachia. Three others all workers at a factory in Katihar who had reached the spot covering nearly 75 kilometers on foot also got a lift and they were looking forward to alight at Hajipur for their onward journey to their homes in Saran district, the officer said.
The driver of the truck that came from the other side apparently did not receive serious injuries as he managed to flee by the time local residents rushed to the spot upon hearing the sound of the collision, he said.
The injured passengers are being treated at the Naugachia Sadar Hospital, he said, adding that both the trucks have been seized and a search was on for the driver who escaped after the collision.