Transport on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway was on Sunday morning paralysed for nearly two hours after residents closed down the road to protest rising road deaths in Mbaruk area.
This was after a man was run over by a vehicle a few metres from Laikipia University Nakuru Campus, bringing the number of those killed at the spot this year to six.
According to Gilgil OCPD Emmanuel Opuru, the identity of the dead man could not be immediately established. The body was later taken to Nakuru County mortuary.
“According to witnesses, the man was killed by a hit-and-run trailer. The man had no identification documents on him. He was severely run over on the head and residents could not identify him,” said Mr Opuru.
After the morning incident, the residents closed down the road with huge rocks causing heavy traffic snarl-up as they protested dangerous driving on the four-kilometre stretch that has three trading centres.
A contingent of police officers deployed from Nakuru to collect the unidentified body was faced with opposition as the residents pelted them with stones before they could fulfill their task.
The residents at the accident scene were dispersed after engaging in running battles with the police but didn’t give up as they kept erecting barricades at different spots along the route.
The residents led by Gilgil MP Martha Wangari lamented that their attempts to engage the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to erect speed bumps had been unsuccessful.
“Half of the year has already elapsed and KeNHA is still dragging its feet on our call for speed bumps. I have been engaging the directors since the year started and they have not done what we had agreed,” said Ms Wangari.
But KeNHA Director Samson Murage said they had erected rumble-strips on the identified section of the road, adding that the authority would look into other ways of improving pedestrians' safety following the recent accidents.
Two weeks ago, a Laikipia University student was knocked down by a vehicle and sustained serious injuries. She was treated at a nearby hospital but lost her life.
In May, two men aged 22 and 29 who were riding on a boda boda were killed after a trailer ran over them at the same spot. The driver also failed to stop.
During the funeral of the motorcycle victims, angry residents closed the road for nearly two hours, using the caskets as barriers. They broke off the protest after the bereaved families intervened.
“This year alone, we have buried five people who have died in similar crashes. This is the sixth person and we are tired of these incidents. KeNHA has to act or we do it ourselves," said Elizabeth Wangui, a community policing leader.
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