Autopsy reveals cause of Kiptum's death

By Stephen Rutto | Feb 21, 2024
Government pathologist Johansen Oduor addresses the press after conducting a post mortem on the body of Kelvin Kiptum at the Eldoret Hospital.  [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

The late marathon star Kelvin Kiptum died of severe head, spine and rib injuries.

An autopsy conducted by Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor on Wednesday found that the men's marathon World Record holder sustained skull fractures and broken ribs during the accident that happened at Flax junction along Eldoret-Eldama Ravine road on February 11.

Oduor said the impact of the accident resulted in right broken ribs.

"There were some fractures on both sides of the ribs. On the left side, three rib bones, including first, second and third and on the right side, the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and seventh had fractures," he said.

He said the late Kiptum's spinal cord was seriously injured during the road crash.

The government pathologist said samples collected from Kiptum's body would be taken for toxicology analysis.

Speaking at Eldoret Hospital morgue where the autopsy was done, Oduor said an analysis of the samples would show whether Kiptum, who was the driver of the ill-fated Toyota Premio, was intoxicated.

He further reported that the postmortem examination found that Kiptum had sustained an injury on his lungs.

Kiptum's father, Samson Cheruiyot, and several relatives and friends witnessed the postmortem examination conducted ahead of athlete's burial tomorrow.

Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Director of Homicide Martin Nyuguto, who has been tracing the late Kiptum's last moments before his death, was also present during the postmortem.

Family spokesman Philip Kiplagat said they agreed with the postmortem findings.

Kiplagat said the family was hoping that the toxicology analysis would explain what might have led to the accident.

"As a family, we have accepted the results of the postmortem. I have witnessed the whole process. We are now waiting for the results of the toxicology analysis and we are okay with the process," he said.

He said the family was working with government officials to give Kiptum a befitting send-off on Thursday.

Kiplagat said preparations at Chepsamo Primary School where the funeral ceremony will take place were ongoing.

"He will be buried at his new home in Naiberi," the spokesperson said.

At Naiberi, workers were yesterday finalising the three-bedroom house built for the late athlete's wife and children. Head of Public Service Felix Koskei toured the construction site last Sunday and gave assurance that the new house will be handed over to Kiptum’s family today.

According to Kiplagat, Kiptum's body will be collected today from Eldoret Hospital mortuary and taken to Chepsamo village, Elgeyo Marakwet, for prayers and night vigil ahead of tomorrow's burial.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator William Kisang said President William Ruto will lead Kenyans in Kiptum's final send-off.

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