Painful task of identifying bodies for family who lost five members in crash

The family that perished in Wednesday’s accident. [Duncan Ocholla, Standard]
A few days ago he lost his mother. Just when he was preparing to bury her, he lost five other members of his family in the Wednesday's bus crash.

Munala's son Roston, daughter-in-law and his three grandchildren were among the 56 passengers who died when the bus they were travelling in crashed on Wednesday at Fort Ternan in Kericho.

The family was preparing for one burial. Now it will have to prepare for six.

Munala says he last spoke with his son on Tuesday at 10pm. Roston had just boarded the bus, and wanted his father to prepare two motorcyclists to pick him and the family at Kakamega the next morning. 

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But when one of Munala's grandchildren, who had boarded the same bus called, she said informed Munala of the accident and said she did not know where the other five were.

By then, Rostan, 37, his wife Veronica Lomen, 27, and two sons aged two and four years were dead. Also dead was Rostan's young nephew.

Plans

"We had planned to go together to the mortuary to collect the body of their grandmother Belina Lomen yesterday morning, only to receive information about their killing," Munala said.

The elderly woman is said to have died shortly after killing a snake in her house.

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Munala's granddaughter was transferred to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret for specialised treatment.

But Munala is not the only one thrown into mourning by the Wednesday's crash.

In neighboring Mungakha village, a woman is mourning a daughter who was traveling home to build her a house.

Rebecca Sisa, 25, and a librarian at Kenyatta University, had planned to surprise her mother. So she only informed one person, her aunt, of her homecoming.

She, too, did not make it home. She had graduated at the same university in 2016.

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In Navangale village, Shinyalu, villagers mourned three of their own.

Caleb Mambili, his wife Lucy Kemunto and five-year-old son Zedekiah Ambane were travelling home to bury their uncle Jacob Shilosia. Now villagers are preparing to bury them.

"Their father and other relatives went to Kericho yesterday and found their bodies in the mortuary,” said Flora Indakuli, a relative.

At the Kericho County hospital mortuary, Imbavi Alulu, from Vihiga, wailed on identifying the body of his two-year-old daughter. “I can’t believe I have lost her," he said.

Imbavu's wife survived with a broken hip bone.

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At the mortuary, Miriam Otieno broke down on identifying the body of her husband.

The administration police officer was travelling home for a family reunion, and called his wife before the bus left Nairobi.

At Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, students are mourning a comrade.

“The students said one of them was in the bus. We travelled to Kericho and confirmed that he died,” said the university’s Chaplain Fr Kizito Muchanga.

The local music scene is also mourning the death of veteran reggae deejay Frederick Shikoli, 45, popularly known as 'Daddy Freddy.'

Shikoli was the firstborn in a family of four and a single parent to three children.

Nathan Ochunge, Nikko Tanui, Caroline Nyanga

Road AccidentsKericho CrashFort Ternan