"A mini-truck carrying around 35 people including women and children was on its way to the Gangrel dam in Dahmatari district for the new year picnic when it rammed into a roadside tree near Abhanpur on highway, 25 kilometres from Raipur, on Tuesday morning," a police official said.
"Two persons died on the spot and another two succumbed to injuries while being taken to the hospital," police said.
Out of the 18 injured, two were reported to be critical and were admitted to Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Medical Hospital, Raipur, they added.
The truck driver fled the spot after the mishap; police said adding that he was driving the vehicle allegedly in an inebriated state.
The deceased were identified as Kisna Bai Nishad (40), Mongra Bai Nishad (55), Rahul (5) and an infant girl Anjani.
The victims were residents of Rawabhata and Tarpongi area in Raipur, police added.