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Seven people killed after truck rams two vehicles

By Washington Onyango | May 12th 2020

The wreckage of a truck carrying sugarcane when it caught fire after colliding with a matatu and a private car at Kisian junction in Kisumu County, yesterday. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Seven people died yesterday after a truck hauling tonnes of sugarcane, ploughed into two cars and pedestrians, at Kisian on the outskirts of Kisumu town. Road accident

The 3pm accident at the intersection of Kisumu-Busia-Bondo roads left a bloody scene as rescuers battled with bare hands, axes and other tools to free the injured and remove the dead from the wreckage.

The police and eyewitnesses said the tragedy occurred after the driver of the truck, hurtling downhill from the Busia side lost control of it, and tore into smaller vehicles.

Kisumu West OCPD Edward Kangara, who coordinated the rescue efforts, confirmed that the truck ferrying sugarcane crashed through a passenger service vehicle before hitting a private car and pedestrians along the road. Most of those who died were in the passenger service vehicle.

The driver of the truck was rescued and rushed to hospital before the truck burst into flames with the police trying to disperse onlookers.

Kangara said two people with serious injuries were admitted at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH). “Seven people died on the spot. A number of people, among them two in critical condition, were rushed to JOOTRH for treatment."

Bodies of the victims were transferred to JOOTRH mortuary. “It is a tragic incident. We urge motorists, especially matatu and truck drivers to be careful on the busy highway,” Kangara said. "We will conduct thorough investigations on the cause of the accident but for now, we understand it was a mechanical problem."

According to witnesses, the driver of the matatu was also speeding before the crash occurred. They said he could have survived the crash had he been driving at a moderate speed. "The truck came from Busia Road at high speed. It did not hoot or stop, crashing through people and the two vehicles," Samson Opiyo, a boda boda rider said.

William Opiyo, a resident of Kisian, said truckers normally drive carelessly without following traffic rules especially at the Kisian Junction. “Most drivers coming this way are normally speeding. In today’s incident, the driver did not hoot or slow down while approaching the junction. It is this kind of carelessness that is costing innocent lives on the road,” he said.

Rosemary Awino, a business woman who escaped death by a whisker called upon the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to erect bumps on all access roads leading to the junction. “This area has become a black spot. We are calling upon the government through KeNHA to erect bumps this week, to prevent speeding which is rampant here,” Awino said.

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