The biggest desire of most people visiting foreign countries is sightseeing.
However, that was not to be for George Gilbert Otieno’s first visit to the US. His elder brother, Allan Onucko, was crushed to death by a truck as he showed him around.
Mr Onucko, 42, who had lived in the US for the past 16 years, had promised to take his brother around.
And on Friday Onucko, who ran a trucking company, asked his brother to accompany him as he made a delivery.
However, their vehicle ran out of fuel on a major US highway in Texas.
Stranded on Interstate 20, their stroke of bad luck continued with their desperate calls for help only yielding petrol instead of diesel.
At about 5 o’clock, a tired Onucko decided to walk to the nearest petrol station to get fuel. Otieno was not comfortable with the idea and tried to discourage, him but he would hear none of it.
He was crushed by an 18-wheel truck only about 300 metres away.
“He was knocked down on the highway in Texas by the biggest of trucks and he stood no chance. We are devastated, distraught and shattered,” said his aunt, Susan Oloo-Oruya.
She said his wife, Everlyne Nashipai, was due to have their second child in four weeks.
“It’s a gruesome incident and tears have been flowing all night,” she said.
Otieno, who is a lawyer, arrived in the US two weeks ago.
He had gone to meet a client in Chicago and then to visit Onucko for three weeks in the mid-western US State of Wisconsin.
Unaware of the accident, Otieno waited in vain for his brother to return, prompting him to call the police.
The driver of the truck was not hurt. The accident was said to have caused a massive traffic jam, prompting the police to close the road for several hours.
Another person was said to have called the police and reported that they had “hit something”.
Onucko, who hails from Homa Bay County, had visited Kenya last year and left on December 19.
He moved to the US in 2002 in the sponsored America Breeders Program and had lived there as a permanent resident since. He was running Arrow Expedite trucking company. Onucko was also a car dealer. His remains will be buried in Homa Bay County.
In an online fundraising campaign, friends and family appealed for financial help to raise Sh5 million to take care of funeral expenses.
It was not clear who started the online, but Oloo-Oruya said it might be his wife.
Onucko and Nashipai met in the US three years ago.
Oloo-Oruya said Onucko had wanted to reduce his workload to make time to attend the baby shower today.
The online fund raiser described Onucko as the “glue that held our community together”. “Allan was an amazing father, husband, brother and son. He was a confidante to many, a true friend...” said the online page.
“We are devastated but we cannot question God. We can come together to ensure our dear friend gets the sendoff he deserves and to support his wife and young daughters in this difficult time.”
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