The painful exercise of identifying victims of the Naivasha road accident kicked off at Naivasha sub-county hospital mortuary as the death toll rose to 17.
Some relatives fainted and tears of pain were shed as those affected tried to come to terms with the Thursday, March 30 accident that involved a Pwani University Bus and a matatu in Naivasha.
The university lost a total of 10 people including seven students and three members of staff following the accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
Survivors of the accident narrated how they were advised to wear safety belts minutes before the bus rammed into a matatu and crashed into a ditch.
The bus drove downhill, flashing lights and hooting before hitting the matatu near Kayole estate at midday. Both vehicles landed in a ditch by the roadside.
One of the injured students, Evan Kipchumba said that trouble started after the bus hit one of the bumps along the highway leading to a mechanical breakdown.
He said that the co-driver advised the students to wear their safety belts before the bus gained momentum, overtaking cars at high speed before hitting the matatu.
“We were heading to Eldoret for national hockey games and the driver was not speeding before the accident occurred,” he said.
This was echoed by another student Kevin Momanyi who said that they were in shock after losing some of their college mates in the grisly road accident.
“We were 62 students in the bus and at no time was the driver speeding and the bus did not have any problem before the accident occurred,” he said.
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The CEC for Health in Nakuru Jackline Osore said that they had treated 76 patients in the casualty wing with 17 dying either at the scene or while undergoing treatment.
She said that they had managed to transfer a total of twelve patients to different hospitals including KNH and PGH in Nakuru for specialised treatment.
“The university has lost a total of 10 people while the rest are from the matatu and we are doing everything possible to save the lives of the others,” she said.
The Chief Officer for Disaster management in the county Joyce Ncece appealed for blood noting that many of the victims had bled a lot.
She termed the incident as shocking a day after seven people died in Oljorai area after their houses were swept by flash floods.
“This marks one of the darkest days for the county and we thank the medics and volunteers who did a commendable job in attending to those injured,” she said.
Antony Manyara, the President Kenya University Students organization, called on the Ministry of Transport to make sure school and college buses were mechanically sound before any journey.
Flanked by his deputy Rachel Tabitha, he called for the expansion of the highway while condoling with the management and students of Pwani University.