A Catholic priest was Wednesday morning killed in an accident on Kapsowar-Chesoi road in Elgeyo Marakwet.
Kenneth Yego of Chesongoch Parish, Kerio Valley, died after his vehicle rolled several times at Metipsoo area near Maina trading centre at about 2am.
The priest was leaving Eldoret town for his Chesongoch parish after presiding over a wedding ceremony at Kiplombe estate.
Marakwet East Deputy County Commissioner Stephen Sangolo said the priest’s car rolled off a sharp bend before landing in a ditch 300m off the road.
“The priest died on the spot due to impact. The police have launched investigations to establish the exact cause of the accident,” the administrator said.
He said the priest, in his early 40s, was new to the area and might not have been familiar with the road.
According Fr William Kosgei, the Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret, the deceased was alone in the car at the time of the accident.
“Fr Yego was so busy on Tuesday. He went to his O’Lessos home parish in Nandi County for a function after presiding over the wedding. We are yet to establish why his car veered off the road, leading to his death,” said Fr Kosgei.
Father David Ruto of the neighbouring Chesoi Parish, who was among the first people to arrive at the scene of the accident at 2.40am said Fr Yego’s lifeless body had been strewn out of his mangled car.
“I was alerted by one of our church members that Fr Yego was involved in a road accident and that he was no more. I called the vicar general after contacting area OCS and the deputy county commissioner,” Fr Ruto told The Standard.
He said the priest was serving in a volatile area that has recently been hit by clashes pitting two clans –Kapkeny and Kabasiran.
“The wedding that Fr Yego had gone to preside over had been postponed more than twice and later moved to Eldoret because there was tension in the villages,” he said.
Caretaker Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Eldoret Maurice Crowley urged residents in Kerio Valley where the priest served not to speculate on the cause of the accident.
Bishop Crowley, who is also the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitale said Fr Yego was posted to Chesongoch Parish five months ago and has been spearheading peace efforts in the Kerio Valley.
“To lose a priest is a tragedy, especially a young priest who had a great future ahead of him. He was my head boy when I taught him in the seminary,” the Bishop said.
He added: “It is hard for the people of Chesongoch. I pray that the family will come into terms with the loss of this hardworking priest.”