Three people perished on the spot on Thursady night while several others sustained serious injuries after the PSV matatu they were travelling in crashed onto a long haulage trailer near Masii town.
The incident which took place at around 9 pm at King’atuani town, a few kilometers from Masii town and along the Machakos-Kitui road is the second such accident to occur in two days after two other people who were riding on a motorcycle perished on the same place.
According to Mwala Traffic Police Base Commander Mr Jack Ila, the driver of the matatu rammed into the lorry which was ahead of him after he lost control of his vehicle.
The matatu which was heading towards Kitui is also believed to have been carrying excess passengers contrary to a recent directive by the Government which requires all PSV matatus to carry 50 per cent of their normal capacity to stem a rise in the number of Covid-19 infections.
Ila said some of the injured were immediately rushed to the Masii Level 4 hospital while the dead were taken to the Machakos Level 5 hospital mortuary.
The officer is now appealing to public service operators to be extra cautious while on the roads to help the government in curbing the number of fatalities being reported along roads lamenting that majority of those losing their lives are energetic persons in the prime of their lives and who can to contribute to the growth of the country’s economy.
“It is quite disappointing that we keep on losing young people and individuals who we are expecting to make a positive contribution to the growth of this country. We are therefore appealing to all road users to be more vigilant and adhere to the laid down traffic regulations to avoid similar scenarios in coming days,” he told the press.
According to the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) the number of passengers who have lost their lives on the road this year have gone down compared to the same period in 2019.
According to the latest crash survey by the Authority, 156 passengers had died by April 13 compared to 205 who succumbed by the same period in 2019.
On the other hand, more pedestrians- 367 have lost their lives since the year began compared to 348 who died in 2019.
In total, 954 people have lost their lives since the year began.
According to the World Health Organization, Kenya loses at least 3,000 people to road accidents every year.
Majority of these people are vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists,
In addition, a third of these deaths are passengers many of whom are killed in unsafe forms of public transport.
Kenya is ranked among the leading countries with the highest number of deaths from road accidents in the world.
By Samuel Maina