Four killed, scores injured in Kericho accident

The wreckage of Toyota Hiace Matatu of Classic Luxury Company was involved in an accident in the Kipsitet area killing four people and leaving eight others with severe injuries. [Nikko Tanui, Standard]

Four passengers including a four-year-old boy have died in a road accident at the Kipsitet-Muhoroni junction along the Kericho- Kisumu highway.

Police said the accident occurred after a matatu headed to Kisumu rammed a tractor ferrying sugarcane at around 9:30 pm on Saturday.

Eight people survived the accident.

A survivor Morris Otieno Okoth, who was traveling with his family after attending his daughter's graduation at Chuka University, said the matatu driver was speeding before the accident.

"I remember even before the accident, the driver swerved dangerously to avoid a head-on- collision with another vehicle at Salgaa area along the Nakuru – Kericho highway," he said

Okoth, who sustained chest injuries, said the matatu driver suddenly slammed the brakes, leaving passengers disoriented.

"I was jerked forward into a seat in front of me. Rescuers had to cut through mangled wreckage to pull us out," he said.

Another survivor, Julian Okisa Makinde, regretted boarding the ill-fated matatu over a private vehicle that was charging more.

"Had we known that the matatu would end up in a road accident, we would have paid the higher fare for the other vehicle than to nearly pay with our lives," she said

Evans Ouma Ndege blamed the accident on the driver of the tractor.

"The tractors are usually parked by the roadside; they don't even have working lights. The government should create a lane for the tractors instead of allowing them to use the same lane as public service and other vehicles," he said.

Alice Akoth, a nurse at Kericho Level Five Hospital Accident and Emergency unit, said they received 12 accident victims.

"While one victim died at the accident scene, three others, including a four-year-old boy, succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment," she said.

Akoth said some survivors sustained head and face injuries while others had multiple body injuries and fractures and were scheduled for surgery.

By the time of going to press two survivors were awaiting CT-Scan reports, while others were seeing the doctors for review before discharge.

The bodies were removed to Kericho Level Five Hospital mortuary for postmortem while the wreckage of the vehicles involved in the accident were towed to Kipsitet Police Station.