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Southern Bypass crash: About the 38-year-old man who died in freak accident

By Mate Tongola | May 6th 2021

The freak accident occurred on the Southern Bypass in Nairobi at 10pm on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. [Courtesy]

Allan Ngugi had, a few hours to his freak crash on Wednesday night, posted on his Instagram page that he had survived death on two previous occasions.

He said in the post: “living life can be fun and messy, but memories are worthwhile”.

Ngugi, unfortunately, did not know the post would be his last message on the photo-and-video-sharing platform.

A few hours after publishing that message, he rammed the rear part of a lorry and died on the spot. The incident occurred at 10pm on the Southern Bypass in Nairobi on Wednesday, May 5.

A family member, who spoke to The Standard in confidence, revealed Ngugi, 38, was the private advocacy acting director at the TradeMark East Africa, an organisation funded by a range of development agencies with the aim of growing prosperity in East Africa through trade.

TradeMark works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector and civil society organisations.


Ngugi is an alumnus of the United States International University (USIU-Africa), where he pursued a Bachelor’s Degree course in International Relations and Affairs between 2002 and 2005.

The tricenarian, thereafter, pursued a Master of Science Degree in Project Management at the Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom between 2007 and 2009.

The deceased also had stints with two commercial banks operating in Kenya between 2007 and 2010.

On his LinkedIn profile, Ngugi described himself as tested and proven project manager, who had experience in international trade and development industry for donor-funded programmes.

“I possess strong business development attributes; skilled in negotiation, catalysing investments, streamlining export processes, international as well as regional and national policy analysis to address regulatory issues, program evaluation, international trade and capacity enhancement,” he said on the job profile site.

Ngugi’s Instagram postings, though few, painted him as a man who lived a fun-filled lifestyle.

The deceased’s friend, who spoke to The Standard on condition of anonymity, described him as a happy-go-lucky man, who loved his family.

Ngugi is survived by a wife and two young sons.

Police, in an earlier interview with The Standard, said Ngugi was speeding when his car, a BMW X5, smashed into a lorry on the fast lane of the Southern Bypass.

The driver’s compartment was crushed, and the small pieces stuck under the underride guard of the commercial truck.

Following the accident, photos of the accident scene circulated on social media. Online reports suggested Ngugi had ploughed into a stalled lorry. However, this allegation was refuted by Lang’ata OCPD Benjamin Mwanthi.

“We suspect the driver was speeding on the fast lane, when he crashed into the rear part of the loaded lorry,” Mwanthi told The Standard.

Ngugi died at the scene and his body taken to City Mortuary. We, however, understand it was moved to Lee Funeral Home later Thursday.

The mangled wreckage of Ngugi’s BMW was towed to Lang’ata Police Station.

Poor lighting

Social media users on Thursday morning, May 6 suggested poor lighting on the Southern Bypass contributed to the accident.

A senior police officer, however, told The Standard that the lighting system on a section of the highway is controlled to ensure aircraft taking off from the nearby Wilson Airport are not misdirected.

Accidents of varying nature have occurred on the 29.6-kilometre Southern Bypass since it was commissioned for use in 2016.

In April 2018, John Macharia, the son of media mogul SK Macharia, died after his vehicle, a Porsche 911 Turbo S, hit guardrails on the bypass.

Road for trucks

During its commissioning in November 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the Southern Bypass would significantly reduce traffic jam on Mombasa Road.

The highway, which diverts from Mombasa Road near Ole Sereni Hotel, connects to Kikuyu.

The president said during the opening of the road that the sole purpose of the facility was to reduce transit truck traffic into Nairobi’s central business district.

The road stretches past the Nairobi National Park, Lang'ata and Dagoretti into Kiambu County through Kikuyu Town.

Motorists using the road, thereafter, proceed with their journeys via the Nairobi-Mai Mahiu or Nairobi-Nakuru routes.

The Southern Bypass, a four-lane dual carriageway, was constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation at a cost of Sh18 billion.

The project was funded by the Kenyan Government and the Export Import Bank of China.

Kenyans have, on several social media platforms, complained about poor lighting and carjacking incidents on the highway.

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