- The accident occurred when a group of 10 students in two separate cars was returning after shopping.
Two Indian students were killed in a tragic road accident in Illinois last week. Pavan Swarna, 23, and his friend Vamshi Krishna Pechetty, 23, both from Telangana, died in a head-on collision between two cars on April 21. Both Swarna and Pachetty were graduate students at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
The accident occurred when a group of 10 students in two separate cars was returning after shopping. One of the cars was hit by another vehicle which was being driven by Marie A. Meunier, 32 of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, who was also pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Three other SIU graduate students were injured in the collision: 23-year-old Yaswanth S. Uppalapati, 24-year-old Kalyan Dorna and 23-year-old Kakumanu Karthik.
An Associated Press report, citing police, said that “Meunier was driving a 2013 blue Fiat sedan when her car crossed the center line and struck the front of the 2019 Toyota sedan Swarna was driving.”
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale released a statement after the tragedy. “We are heartbroken to learn of a tragic car accident that has taken the lives of two members of the Saluki family and injured three others,” read the statement from SIU Chancellor Austin Lane. “We are working to support the families during this incredibly difficult time. Our thoughts and hearts are with these students and their loved ones.”
Students, faculty, and community members also came together on April 22 for a candlelight vigil on campus to honor and remember Pechetty and Swarna.
A now-closed GoFundMe page created by Rahu Reddy Pesaru to help the families of the deceased in sending the mortal remains to India, raised $14,962.