By Dann Okoth
Nairobi, Kenya: The death toll from the tragic Kisii school bus crash hit 20 after two more victims succumbed to their injuries at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
One victim died Tuesday and another passed on late Saturday, as the impact of the horrific accident claimed yet more lives. Both victims had head and spinal injuries.
Meanwhile, one female student victim of the accident is in a critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital, eight are admitted and are responding to treatment, while another five have been discharged.
Those who have been discharged include Lydia Nyatundi (18) Egoro Mixed School, Vincent Nyakundi (17) Nyaketo mixed, Hearty Omae (19) Tambacha Mixed, Angela Mayola (16) Engoto mixed and Caroline Otaro (19) Nyaketo Mixed.
KNH Tuesday appealed to the public to come forward and donate blood to help save lives of patients still in critical condition and need transfusion.
“We especially call upon those with the blood group O-positive to come forward,” said Simon Idhae, KNH Corporate Affairs Manager.
Idhae said a majority of the victims suffered severe fractures of the limbs adding that most are responding well to treatment.
The grisly accident occurred when the school bus belonging to Rioma Secondary School rolled several times at Nyambunde on the Itumbe-Igare road on Wednesday night.
The bus driver was said to have been unqualified to drive on a highway-having only driven village taxis without a valid driver’s licence.
A rattled pedestrian Joseph Mongare who survived the accident thanked his lucky stars after he escaped with a broken leg and a bruised face.
Speaking to The Standard from his hospital bed Tuesday, the 37-year-old father of five narrated how he was walking along the road when he saw the bus hurtling down the road towards him.
“I heard children screaming and turned around and saw this bus which was out of control heading straight at me,” he says.
“Before I knew what was going on the bus hit me sweeping me down a steep gorge, then everything went black,” he recalls.
Incredibly, Mongare was more concerned about who would put food on the table for his family than his injuries. “I can barely move my legs. I do not know how long I will remain trapped in bed and what will happen to my kiosk because that is what I rely on for survival,” he says.
Grace Ogaro, another pedestrian hit by the runaway bus wasn’t so lucky and could stay in hospital longer and faces uncertain future after her hip-bones were crushed by the bus.
“I had gone to fetch water at a nearby well and was walking beside the road when I saw the bus emerge from a bend on the hill. It was swerving from side to side. I ran into a thicket on the roadside but it was too late,” She says adding she could not feel her feet.
She now has metals lodged in her hips in what doctors call K-nailing operation to keep her pelvic bones together but could face a long road to full recovery.
Idhae said the Government would foot the hospital bill for all the victims.
“We appeal to Government agencies concerned to institute strict measures to rein in such careless driving because accidents of such magnitude not only put innocent lives at stake but drain the resources of institutions such as KNH,” he said.