Eight people died while seven others sustained serious injuries following a fatal road crash in Migori town on Saturday morning.
The accident occurred after a truck ferrying rice lost control and ploughed into pedestrians and several vehicles along the Migori-Isebania road.
According to witnesses, moments before the crash the truck driver made efforts to alert pedestrians to give way and flashed his headlights while hooting and shouting repeatedly as he struggled to control the truck.
While efforts to rescue victims of the crash were ongoing, some residents were looting rice from the cargo of the ill-fated truck.
Migori County Commander Mark Wanjala confirmed the incident saying that six people died on the spot while two others died at the Migori County Referral Hospital.
“Three victims are in critical condition and have been hospitalized at Migori County Referral Hospital,” said Wanjala.
Witnesses told The Standard that they heard loud hooting and screams as the driver struggled to regain control of the truck.
Police believe the accident could have been caused by brake failure but say that they have launched investigations into the incident.
Standard Group photojournalist Caleb King’wara lost his cousin in the accident and described his demise as a big blow to their family.
Azimio la Umoja coalition leader Raila Odinga sent a message of condolences to the families of the people who died in the accident.
“I offer my deepest sympathies to all those who have lost their loved ones, friends, and colleagues in the tragic accident that occurred this morning at the bodaboda stage in Migori town,” he wrote on his social media platforms.
“May God grant you all fortitude to get through this difficult moment.”
Kanu Chairperson Gideon Moi also took to his social media accounts to send his condolences. “Please accept my deepest condolences. We stand with you in mourning the loss of these innocent lives,” he wrote.
Moi urged motorists to be careful on the road while calling on authorities to equally escalate inspections and institute other traffic safety measures to avoid loss of lives.
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The Chairman of the Lake Region Economic Block, Prof Peter Anyang' Nyong’o described the early morning accident as spine-chilling.
"I wish, on behalf of the Lreb leadership and the people of Kisumu to condole with Governor Ochillo Ayacko, the families of those killed and the people of Migori. It is a sad Easter for all of us," said Prof Nyong'o.
Migori County Governor Ochilo Ayacko also shared his message of condolences.
“I take this chance to convey my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives," he wrote adding that County Government officials have been at the scene of the accident to assist with the operations.