Odhiambo: Our vehicle lost control, I saw darkness, but God brought me back to life

Migori Woman Rep Pamela Odhiambo prays during County prayer day organised for her after coming out from the Hospital following the tragic road accident in March 2019. [File, Standard]

The badly mangled wreck of the vehicle Migori Woman Rep Dr Pamela Odhiambo was driving in on that fateful day, in itself, tells a story of survival and death.

One year down the line, Pamela still carries the scars, a painful reminder of a day she almost lost her life in grisly road accident that killed her bodyguard and left her confined to a wheelchair for months.

The mother of 11 believes were it not for God, she could have lost her life during the road crash.

“If you look at the mangled wreck more so the side where I was, you will figure out what I am talking about, that indeed it was God’s grace that I did not die,” she says as she points at the remains of the badly damaged car in a photo. 

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Odhiambo who now walks on her own, spoke about the accident during an interview with KTN News ‘Beyond the Scars’ talk show.

She shared what was going through her mind after the vehicle swerved and rolled several times, and how she was able to get out of the car with the help rescuers.

The Woman Rep says she was on her way to a fund raiser in Homa Bay having been invited by her Homa Bay counterpart Gladys Wanga when the accident occurred. 

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She said the two of them met a day before the harambee and agreed to meet the following day and attend a church service before leaving for the event.

“I had little money so I wanted to send someone but my late security guy told me we just have to go to Homa Bay,” she remembers what transpired moments before they left for the event that never was

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She said they left for Homa Bay after breakfast and a prayer.

The born again Woman Rep said she kept on praying and singing throughout the journey.

After driving past Rongo town, the MP says she saw a group of boda boda riders on both sides of the road from a distance.

According to the legislator, the rider who caused the accident was part of the group and was on his phone before he joined the road, heading toward the same direction they were headed to.

After joining the road, the rider tried to overtake them before making an abrupt U-turn and when she looked at the driver, she realised he had lost it, the car was in air.

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“I was like what is he doing and when I looked at the driver, I realised things were out of control, he had lost the vehicle and we were in the air,” she says.

She said when they finally landed, she heard a loud bang and everything went dark.

“When we landed, I saw darkness and felt my chest tight and numbed, but kept on shouting Jesus! Jesus!” she said.

Odhiambo said even the people who rushed to the scene believed they had all perished due to the impact and extent of the damage, but someone heard her voice from the wreck.

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“I heard them shout from outside that they are all dead, as I continued to pray.”

When they realised I was talking, they started the process of removing us and that is how I came out of the wreck.

“I couldn’t move my limbs and hands, but was conscious and had a conviction that I would not die despite the pain,” she said.

Odhiambo was rushed to AgaKhan Hospital in Kisumu before being flown to Nairobi for specialised treatment at Nairobi Women’s Hospital.

The accident saw Odhiambo’s body guard confirmed dead, two occupants were treated and discharged while one was admitted in critical condition.

Talking about the death of her bodyguard Fred Owich; the Woman Rep says it still pains her that he did not survive.

She says it is traumatising to think about how he died because they were very close and was very active when they were leaving the house for the fund raiser.

“His death traumatised me, we were so close and up to today I still feel him and the family,” she says.

Crash lesson

Odhiambo said the accident taught her about service to humanity because life can be very funny, you have it this moment and the next minute it is gone.

The legislator says the crash also strengthened her faith in God because if it were not for God, she would not be alive.

“I realised there are times [you] human beings have no power and have to ride on God’s ability to escape a situation.”

To those who want to discourage her and stand in her way, the MP says she has no room for negative energy and has forgiven all those who wished her death.

“The whole 2019 when I was confined in hospital, we still achieved a lot,  but I still hear some negative people say she is not performing,” she says.

Migori Woman Rep (second right) Pamela Odhiambo with Opposition leader Raila Odinga and Kakamega Senator Cleopas Malala and Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda during her homecoming party at Wasimbete village in Suna West, Migori County in May 2018 before the road crash. [File, Standard]

Development agenda

Odhiambo who is still recuperating had a message for Migori people, that the resolve to serve them was not crashed during the accident and that plans are underway to roll out a number of development programmes targeting women and the youth.

"I want Migori people to know that I am still the passionate Pamela Odhiambo who wanted to serve the youth and women.”

She said she has organised a number of training workshops targeting the youth and women on value addition on various products.

Migori Woman Rep Pamela Odhiambo and a disable candidate who score 315 marks on 2019 KCPE exams at Nguruna Primary School in Kuria East sub county. The candidate was among 263 students who benefited from National Elimu Scholarship through Woman Rep’s office.  [File, Standard] 

“We want to train our people on how to make yogurt, juice and oil from various fruits found in Migori,” she said.

We also want to construct sheltered workshop for the people with disabilities in Migori so that they can find a place to make their things and earn a living.

“I am working with local women groups to process groundnuts, and fruits, juices, and yogurt, we haven’t achieved much due to this accident, but I am happy my condition is now better and we will embark on service delivery,” she said.

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Migori countyPamela OdhiamboBeyond the ScarsRoad accidentGladys Wanga