The mishap took place on the Dholka-Bagodara Highway this morning when a group of people were sleeping near a road side dhaba (eatery) at Beghwa crossroad.
The pilgrims were going to attend the "urs'' fair at a "dargha'' in Bhadiyad village of Dholka, about 20 km from here, police said.
According to the police, the truck lost control and ran over them. Sixteen persons, including nine women, were killed on the spot while two others died in hospital. The injured were admitted at various hospitals in Dholka town and Ahmedabad, police said.
The truck involved in the accident was from Madhya Pradesh. It was going from Katni in Madhya Pradesh to Vakaner in Rajkot.
The vehicle's driver and cleaner are absconding, police said, adding further investigations were on.