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ELECTION 2022

Woman loses three kin in crash while 11 perish at Coast blackspot

NYANZA
By Eric Abuga and Patrick Beja | Dec 27th 2021 | 4 min read

Dorcas Kemuma (left) lost her husband Duke Omurwa and son Dylan Omurwa (centre) in road accidents [Courtesy]

Several families lost relatives in road accidents just hours to Christmas. A man, his son and mother died in one accident in Kisii, while at least 11 people were killed in three other accidents at the Coast.

Mourning her son, husband and mother-in-law who died in the Kisii-Keroka road accident, Dorcas Kemuma blamed the devil for visiting her home and making a “nest”.

“He, the devil, has bred a nasty guest. Old Death! A grisly road accident has claimed my people. I have lost,” she said on social media pages on December 23.

Her husband Duke Omurwa, son Dylan Omurwa and mother-in-law Salome were killed after a vehicle they were travelling in collided head-on with a matatu.

Kemuma’s firstborn, Dwight, sustained injuries and is recuperating at a private hospital in Bomet County.

Duke, who died on the spot was driving towards Keroka town while the 14-seater matatu was headed to Kisii town. His mother and son died on arrival at the hospital.

Before his death, Duke was a teacher at Matieko Secondary School in Kisii. He was also Kitutu Central Sub-County Kuppet representative and chairperson of the Kitutu Central teachers’ welfare.

His brother Douglas Omurwa said the four left home at Kegati in Nyaribari Chache to visit some patients at a hospital in Kisii town.

Joseph Mogire and Laban Ouko, the Kuppet Kisii branch executive secretary and chairperson respectively, said the teaching fraternity had lost a dedicated member.

“This is a tragedy to the family; losing three on the same day!” said Mr Mogire.

Duke’s friend James Omari said: “In high school, we worshipped and sang in the Christian Union. Duke had a deep voice, and I can remember his sharp tenor.”

Kisii County Police Commander Francis Kool urged road users to exercise caution. “Some of the road accidents are caused by careless road users,” he said.

Elsewhere at the coast, a stretch of about 35km on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway between Mackinon Road town in Kwale and Manyani in Voi, Taita Taveta is becoming a nightmare for motorists.

At least 11 people were killed in three separate accidents during Christmas. Five people were killed on the morning of Christmas Day, two of them burnt beyond recognition when their Nairobi bound car caught fire after colliding with another headed towards Mombasa.

In the 7am accident at Engwata in Mackinon road, three people who had been in the Mombasa bound car died on the spot. Three others were taken to Moi Referral Hospital in Voi.

Slippery road

Kinango Sub-County Police commander Fredrick Ombaka said the accident might have been a result of fatigue by drivers on a slippery road.

“The two occupants in the BMW (Nairobi bound) were badly burnt. The Subaru (Mombasa bound) had six occupants and three died on the spot. Drivers need to be careful and avoid driving while tired. They should take a rest,” he said.

On Christmas eve, two people died while two others were injured in an accident at Maungu in Taita Taveta on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway.

County Deputy Police Commander Mathion Pombo said the driver of the saloon car headed to Voi town lost control and collided head-on with a truck headed to Mombasa, killing the two and injuring two others.

Police said the injured were taken to the Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi. The accident was blamed on speeding.

“We removed the two bodies and took them to the hospital mortuary awaiting identification by their relatives,” said Pombo.

On December 22, four passengers died on the spot and dozens of others were seriously injured when a bus they were travelling in collided head-on with a truck in the Manyani area, which is becoming an accident hot spot.

Moi County Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent Felix Kimotho, receiving the 36 injured, said the hospital was a lifeline for accident victims along the highway from Taru in Kwale County to Mtito Andei in Makueni.

“At least 35 passengers are out of danger. We are still monitoring their health before we can release them,” Dr  Kimotho said.

On December 20, Anglican Church of Kenya Taita Taveta Bishop Liverson Mng’onda led police and bodaboda operators in interdenominational prayers for safety on the roads at Ndii on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway and Mwatate junction on the Voi-Taveta highway.

The cleric said the prayers were meant to bring sanity on the roads following many accidents and loss of lives in recent months. He cautioned motorists against speeding as a way to reduce the number of accidents.

“We need to be alive so that we can continue feeding your families and pay taxes,” said a police officer during the prayers.

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