250 killed in road crashes in one month
11 months ago, 1 Jan 09:42
They had bid farewell and exchanged end-of-year and New Year wishes as they left their various homes for Nairobi. Each hoped to celebrate New Year with their loved ones and friends back in the capital city and other parts of the country they were destined to. Instead, the merchant of death intercepted them; some ending up in morgues and others in hospital beds with serious injuries. A child, a student, a parent, a family were entrapped by the depressing fate of many innocent users of Kenya’s killer roads. Thirty-eight lives were instantly snuffed out early Sunday morning in the worst road accident of 2017 on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway. Six others died from injuries while undergoing treatment in hospitals. The latest deaths brought to 250 the total number of people killed in road accidents across the country in December alone. Initial investigations indicate that the driver of the bus left his lane and collided head-on with an oncoming trailer at Migaa, about 10 kilometres from the notorious Salgaa black spot at about 3.30am. Both the driver of the trailer and the bus, owned by the Nairobi Bus Company, died on the spot. Among the dead identified was a three-year-old boy. Eleven passengers were admitted in different conditions at Molo District Hospital and Nakuru Level 5 Hospital. Most of the passengers were asleep when the accident occurred. They either died or were reportedly awoken by the impact of the bus crashing into the trailer speeding in the opposite direction. “I was asleep when the accident occurred and all I heard was a loud bang and screams from all over before I was helped out,” a survivor told reporters from his hospital bed in the Molo District Hospital. He said most of the dead were seated in the front seats and were thrown off their seats onto the road. Their body parts and personal belongings were strewn along the road in a heart-rending pool of blood streaming down the hill. Many had travelled upcountry to join their families and relatives for Christmas celebrations and had carried back with them maize, bananas, beans, sugarcane and chickens to cap the month of festivities in the capital. Red Cross teams backed by police and locals struggled for hours collecting scattered body parts and trying to match them in a terrifying scene. Most passengers lacked personal documents, making it hard to identify them. With that, the death toll during the month of December alone hit an all-time high of 242. It means one person died every three hours during last year’s Christmas period. As public anger soared over the high fatalities, President Uhuru Kenyatta mourned those killed and asked drivers to be careful during this festive season. He regretted loss of lives in road accidents that can be avoided. “Let us all be responsible this festive season, and more so, those of us who are driving,” said the President. The National Transport and Safety Authority reacted with an immediate ban on night travel by long-distance buses. It ...
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