The students were among a group of 40 others, who were travelling from Panhala Fort on the outskirts of Kolhapur to Sangli when the accident occurred near Nagaon village on the Pune-Bengaluru Highway.
The students belong to Walchand College in Sangli and were returning with a ‘Shiv Jyot’ (Shiva Flame) to mark the 388th birthday anniversary of the legendary Maratha warrior king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, being celebrated on Monday.
Around 4.30 a.m., as the truck was speeding to its destination and crossing a bridge, a motorcyclist reportedly came suddenly from the opposite direction on the highway.
To avert hitting him, the truck driver swerved and braked sharply causing the vehicle to overturn.
Villagers and police personnel launched rescue operations and arranged to shift the injured boys to the CPR Hospital nearby.
The victims have been identified as: Pravin Trilotkar, Sumit Kulkarni (both aged 23), Ketan Khochke,21, Arun Bonde and Sushant Patil (both 22).
The overturned truck had blocked traffic for some hours. After it was cleared, vehicular movement resumed.