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Road carnage claims 19 lives in separate accidents

By | December 27th 2010

By Standard Team

Christmas celebrations turned tragic after 19 people, among them a family of five, died in road accidents.

Five family members were killed when a saloon car they were travelling in collided head on with a bus near Maragwa town yesterday.

The accident occurred near a bridge after the bus driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle as he swerved to avoid a huge pothole.

The bus which had 45 passengers on board was destined for Meru town from Nairobi during the 7.30 pm accident.

A nurse at Consolata Hospital Kyeni consoles five-year-old Grace Wanjiru who was injured in an accident near Thuci River bridge on the Embu-Meru highway. [Photo: Munene Kamau/Standard]

Murang’a South OCPD Mr Antony Onyango said the dead included the driver of the saloon, another man, two women and a child.

"The five died on the spot with one lady being admitted in a critical condition," said Onyango.

Maragwa Town Council Chairman Patrick Kinyanjui blamed the accident on failure by the Roads Ministry to seal the huge pothole.

"On several occasions leaders have urged the government to seal the pothole but no action has been taken," said Kinyanjui.

Lost control

And, four people died on the eve of the Christmas Day after a bus they were travelling in crashed near Thuci River Bridge on Embu-Chuka road.

Twenty two passengers in the bus were admitted at Kieni Mission Hospital in Embu while the rest were rushed to Chuka District hospital.

At Kieni, five victims whose conditions deteriorated were transferred to the Embu Provincial General Hospital.

A survivor Diana Nkirote claimed the passengers were to blame for the accident after they started complaining the driver was too slow.

Speaking from the hospital bed yesterday Nkirote said the bus was travelling at a moderate speed until it reached Kathageri market.

"Most of the passengers started yelling at the driver accusing him of taking too long to get them to their destination," she said.

Police managed to salvage some luggage belonging to the victims and kept them at Runyenjes Police Station. Five-year-old Grace Wanjiru admitted at Kieni Hospital lost her mother Dolin Kawira and sister Caroline Kendi.

Meanwhile, four people died on the spot when a matatu they were travelling in rolled at Gatirima area on Nyahururu- Kinamba road.

The Councillor for Gituamba ward Kamakil Kamanga who witnessed the accident said the matatu was racing at high speed down a slope to Nyahururu before the driver lost control of the vehicle. Four people died on the spot while the rest were rushed to Nyahururu district hospital.

Elsewhere, three people, including a 2-year-old baby who were travelling to Kisumu for Christmas celebration died in a road accident.

High speed

The trio perished on Christmas day after a Nissan Matatu they were travelling in rolled on Luanda Kotieno-Kisumu road, killing two on the spot and injuring ten.

However, the baby died while being rushed to Bondo District Hospital. The ten were seriously injured and are still undergoing treatment at the hospital. According to an eyewitness, Joseph Ochola, the vehicle was being driven at a high speed before a tyre burst occurred causing the driver to lose control and rolled several times near Rarieda Secondary School in Siaya County.

The vehicle was travelling from Luanda Kotieno to Kisumu.

And three people perished in an accident on Christmas day after a matatu collided with a saloon car along the Egerton-Njoro road.

Other Passengers who were in the matatu and in the saloon car were injured and are being treated at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital.

All the three who died were in the matatu that was travelling towards Nakuru town. Nakuru OCPD Johnstone Ipara said the two vehicles were moving in the same direction when the driver of the saloon car attempted to overtake the matatu.

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