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Lorry rams into other vehicles killing 11 in Gilgil

By Antony Gitonga | March 22nd 2019

 On its back: The truck that rammed into other vehicles in Gilgil, Nairobi-Nakuru highway killing 11 people. [Photo: Courtesy]

Eleven people including six women have died in a grisly pile-up on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

The dead were passengers in a 2NK matatu headed for Nairobi from Nakuru that was smashed by a  truck at Kikopey trading centre near Gilgil town. The 40-ton lorry was going downhill.

The truck later hit five other vehicles that were driving in the opposite direction but luckily the occupants escaped with minor injuries.

At the scene, personal effects soaked in blood and fuel were littered all over as police tried to control the surging crowd.

A shocked crowd at the scene of the Kikopey accident. [Photo: Courtesy]

The wreck of the matatu and the truck lay on the opposite sides of the road following the 930Am accident that led to a massive traffic snarl-up.

Speaking at the scene, Gilgil OCPD Emmanuel Opuru said the truck driver was heading to Nakuru and was to blame for the early morning accident.

He said that the ill-fated truck first hit the matatu killing all the passengers before ramming into five other vehicles including another truck along the highway.

“All the eleven passengers in the matatu that include six women and five men died on the spot while the driver of the truck escaped soon after the accident,” he said.

The senior police officer added that passengers from other vehicles were not injured adding that they had launched a manhunt for the fleeing driver.

“The information we are getting is that the truck started swaying from one side of the road to the other before hitting the matatu and the other vehicles,” he said.

Opuru added that the bodies had been collected and taken to Gilgil sub-county hospital mortuary while the wrecks had been towed to Gilgil police station.

A detached cargo container at the accident scene. [Photo: Courtesy]

A witness Peter Kinuthia narrated how the fast speeding truck was hooting and flashing its lights downhill before the accident occurred.

He said that the driver of the matatu tried to drive off the road to evade the lorry but it was too late.

“The truck rammed the matatu on its side killing all the occupants on the spot before hitting five other vehicles and landing into a ditch,” he said.

In the last two years over 30 people have died on the steep section of the road with mechanical failures blamed for the accidents.

In 2017, a lorry lost control and rammed into a bus killing 20 people before another bus hit a lorry last year near the same area killing 18 people.

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