Seven passengers perished along the busy Nyahururu-Rumuruti –Maralal road in Laikipia County Thursday evening in two separate accidents.
The first accident occurred at Gatundia area few Kilometres from Rumuruti town, three people including a child died on the spot after the 14-seater matatu they were travelling in lost control and rolled several times.
Confirming the incidents, Laikipia West Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD) Mr Jeffa Mweru said, “The vehicle was headed to Nyahururu town from Rumuruti and on reaching at the scene of the accident it veered off the road and landed into a ditch,” he said.
He added that two men and a primary school kid died on the spot while a female passenger passed on as she was rushed to hospital in Nyahururu.
The vehicle was reportedly carrying women who were returning from market in Rumuruti and a group of men who were coming from the same area where they had gone to prepare a grave for a matatu driver who perished in an accident a week ago on the same route.
Mr. Mweru said that five other people were injured and rushed to Nyahururu County Referral hospital. “Three people who were seriously injured are admitted to the facility in critical condition while the rest were treated and discharged,” he added.
“The driver of the vehicle who was on high speed was overtaking when he noticed an oncoming vehicle and veered off the road to avoid a head on collision,” he added.
A survivor who escaped with a broken arm and head injuries Ms Anna Andung said, “Our vehicle rolled four times before landing on the girl who was walking on the road side.”
Andung added, “The driver was over speeding and we had complained about it several times but he told us that the vehicle was moving at the right speed. The accident occurred minutes later.”
She added that the primary school kid was walking home from school on the road side when the rolling vehicle landed on her.
The second accident occurred at Suguta area near Mugie ranch where two people died on the spot when the vehicle they were travelling in hit a pothole on the Rumuruti-Maralal road and rolled several times.
The police boss added that six other people including a Chinese contractor were seriously injured during the 6pmaccident.
He said the pick-up belonging to a road construction company that is working on the Rumuruti-Maralal road was carrying nine passengers when it hit a pothole and rolled several times.
“Two people including the driver died on the spot while another one died at Nyahururu county Referral Hospital. Six people were rushed to Nyahururu county Referral Hospital while the contractor was taken to Nairobi for specialized treatment,” said Mweru.
The OCPD blamed the two accidents on high speeding and cautioned drivers plying the route against the vice.
“We are told that the driver of the matatu was driving recklessly and in a rush so as to pick up more passengers at the next stop. The pick-up driver was also rushing to take the road workers home. I would like to warn drivers who are using the road especially the matatu ones because it has been reported that they are most notorious in over-speeding that it will not be business as usual,” he added.
By Mwangi Gaitha