By Antony Gitonga
NAIVASHA, KENYA: Three people died in a ghastly road accident involving a Nissan Matatu and a lorry along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
Ten other people including two minors were left fighting for their lives in different hospitals following the midnight crash in Gilgil town.
Transport along the highway was disrupted for over three hours as police and members of the public tried to retrieve one of the bodies from the mangled wreck.
Two of the victims including the matatu driver died on the spot while the third, a woman died on way to hospital.
According to a witness, the matatu was traveling from Nakuru to Nairobi while the lorry was heading in the opposite direction.
On reaching Kambi Somali area in Gilgil, the lorry lost control and rammed into the matatu.
“The lorry driver who fractured both legs and hands claimed mechanical failure but some people claim that he fell asleep,” said the witness.
The driver of the matatu died on impact and it took hours to retrieve the body, which was trapped in the mangled wreck.
Naivasha deputy OCPD Korir Mengich could only confirm two deaths of the driver and a passenger from the matatu.
He said that initial investigations pointed to the lorry driver who veered from his side and hit the matatu.
“The injured were rushed to various hospitals in Gilgil and Nakuru and vehicles have been towed to Gilgil police station,” he said.
The police boss blamed speed and careless overtaking as some of the leading causes of accidents along the highway.
He noted that traffic police on the highway were arresting at least forty cases of speeding drivers on the busy road per day.
“Sometimes we are arresting up to 40 drivers for speeding and this will continue until we have sanity on the road,” he said.
He called on drivers to exercise caution during the festive season when many accidents were reported in the country.