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Former National Racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife Niveditha died in a car accident at MRC Nagar here today.
The 31-year-old Sundar and Niveditha were trapped inside their car when it caught fire after hitting a roadside tree. The couple was charred to death inside the vehicle, the police said.
The burning of the car was streamed live on Facebook which instantly went viral on social media.
Police officials claimed over-speeding was the reason behind the crash.
Fire and rescue services personnel from Mylapore also rushed to the spot but it took around half-an-hour to put out the flames.
Sundar had won the national title in car racing and two-wheeler events on several occasions. His wife Niveditha was a doctor in a private hospital in Chennai.
In 2006, he was adjudged Champion of Champions in India after winning the 115cc 4-stroke and 150cc 4-stroke titles. He had signed a deal with German racing team Ma-Con Motorsport and drove in the German Formula Volkswagen ADAC Championship in 2008.
As recently as in 2012 and 2013 he became the country's undisputed F4 champion as well.
FMSCI president and former race driver Akbar Ebrahim wrote on his Twitter feed: "It's a sad day for motor sports. I knew Ashwin since he was an infant and I saw him excel in all formats of the sport. May his and his wife's soul rest in peace."
Former Indian Formula One driver Karun Chandhok too expressed his shock and wrote on Twitter: "Very sad to hear this morning that the young Indian National racing champion Ashwin Sundar and his wife were killed in a road accident.#RIP"
FMSCI's chairman - Two-wheeler Racing Commission and former national rallying champion co-driver Sujit Kumar told PTI, "Ashwin was one of the best racing talent India has ever had, be it go karting, bike racing or car racing. He was also a wonderful human being. I am fortunate to have spent a lot of time together, managing him during our Yamaha Racing days. My deepest condolences to his family."
Badminton star Jwala Gutta was one of the most prominent athletes to express her condolences to Ashwin's family.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)