Five people, including four biomedical engineering students, died on the spot when the car in which they were travelling rammed into a lorry near Avinashi in Tirupur district in the early hours of Thursday, police said.
Seven students of the private engineering college in Salem were going to Udhagamandalam in Nilgiris district by the car, after the college had announced holidays due to the coronavirus threat.
As they reached Pazhankarai near Avinashi, about 40 km from Coimbatore, the car driver is said to have lost control over the vehicle and rammed it into the lorry from the rear, killing four students and the driver on the spot and injuring three other students, the police said.
The people killed in the accident have been identified as Venkatachalam, Rajesh, Vasanth and Elavarasan, all 21 years old, and Manikandan, the driver, they said.
The injured were Karthi, Jayarusya and Santhose, the police said.
While two of the injured were admitted to a private hospital near Tirupur, Karthi was brought and admitted to the Government hospital in Coimbatore, they said.
Fearing arrest, the lorry driver fled the scene, they added.
The mishap comes after a month of a major accident killing 19 people, when a Kerala state transport bus dashed a lorry a few kms away from this spot.