At least fourteen people died on Monday while scores of others were hospitalized with serious injuries when a Garissa bound bus was involved in a grisly road accident at Tula area.
Witnesses said ten passengers in the ill fated bus died on the spot after the speeding bus overturned while the driver was attempting to avoid ramming into a stationery lorry along the Nairobi- Garissa highway. Monday when a bus they were traveling overturned at Tula area about 40 kilometers from Garissa town
Among those who died in tragic accident included a three month old baby alongside her mother but as fate would have it,their three year old family member survived.
Garissa county police Commander Aron Moriasi said the ten succumbed to their injuries on impact victims but four others casualties lost the battle for their lives while undergoing treatment at the Garissa County Referral Hospital.
He told a press briefing at the hospital that 17 casualties of the midnight tragic accident suffered multiple injuries ranging from broken limbs, head injuries and various degree of tissue injuries.
He said the driver of the bus who escaped with slight injuries was trying to avoid ramming into stationary truck which was packed along the road, when the accident happened.
“According to preliminary investigations, the driver hit the truck on the left side, ripping off the left of the bus before losing control. Majority of those who died and sustained injuries were seated on the left side,” Moriasi said.
One of the passengers, Alfred Kimwele, an Administration police officer, admitted at the Garissa hospital said he only heard a loud bang, before the bus veered off the road and landed into a ditch.
“All I remember was hearing a loud bang, followed by screams from fellow passengers most of whom were asleep at the time of impact. l noticed something was amiss when I saw bodies piled on top of me,” Kimwele said.
Another passenger, John Mutisya a casual labourer who was heading to Habaswein Sub-county, who had his shoulder dislocated said the driver was speeding at the time of the accident.
“I just want to thank God for saving my life. I am however urging drivers to be more careful especially when driving at night because if the driver was not at high speed, he could have controlled the vehicle and overtaken the lorry safely,” Mutisya said.
Dr. Ernest Siwo, the director of clinical services at the hospital said one of patients sustained serious head injuries but was in stable condition.
Area governor Ali Korane who visited the injured said his administration will foot the burial expenses for the departed and waive hospital bills for the injured.
“I want to appeal to the drivers to be extra careful when driving along this road that has claimed hundreds of lives. Speeding only leads to deaths and casualties,” Korane said.
When the press visited the scene of the accident, pieces of cloths and other personal effects of the victims were strewn all over, while fresh stench of blood still being felt.
Meanwhile, at the Garissa police station where the bus was towed, owners were busy covering it with canvas to conceal company’s name and number plate, ostensibly to hide their identity.
By Jacob Songok