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BMW driver dies after hitting truck on the Southern Bypass

NAIROBI
By Mate Tongola | May 6th 2021
Social media users on Thursday morning, May 6 suggested poor lighting on the Southern Bypass contributed to the accident. [Courtesy]

A middle-aged man died on Wednesday night, May 5, after his vehicle rammed a lorry. The accident occurred on the Southern Bypass in Nairobi.

Police say the driver of the BMW X5 was speeding when the vehicle smashed into the lorry, which was on the fast lane. The driver’s compartment was crushed into small pieces and stuck under the underride guard of the commercial truck.

Police clarification

Following the accident, photos of the accident scene circulated on social media. Online reports claimed the driver of the BMW had ploughed into a stalled lorry. However, this allegation has been 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.

The driver of the BMW died at the scene and his body was taken to City Mortuary.  The mangled wreckage of the 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.

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.

Vehicles using the road thereafter proceed with their journeys using 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 on the highway.

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