It has been established that the driver of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) bus involved in the fatal accident at Padiyathalawa last evening had been under the influence of alcohol, according to police.

The bus, traveling towards Mahaoya from the direction of Padiyathalawa, had collided head-on with a lorry resulting in injuries to 27 persons who were admitted to the Padiyathalawa Hospital. The injured comprised of 26 males and one female. The driver of the lorry, identified as a 28-year-old resident of Matale, later succumbed to his injuries.

The injured bus passengers are residents of Batticaloa and had been on their way home after attending an agriculture workshop in Bibile when the incident occurred. Police said the bus driver was taken into custody and investigations had ascertained he had been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Padiyathalawa Police are investigating.