NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17 – Eleven people were killed in the early hours of Saturday morning in an accident on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.
The 1am incident that occurred near Voi town also left 13 people injured.
Voi Police Chief Nathaniel Aseneka said ten people died on the spot while one succumbed to injuries at the Voi District hospital.
Five of the victims are recuperating in Voi while seven others are at the Makindu District Hospital where they were rushed by other motorists.
Police say the accident involved a bus that was on its way to Nairobi from Mombasa and a truck heading to the Coast.
Among those killed were both drivers and a baby. The accident is said to have happened as the bus was overtaking multiple vehicles.
“The driver was overtaking without calculating the distance of the oncoming vehicles hence causing the accident,” said Rashid Tewa, a 65-year-ol social worker in Tudor, Mombasa who survived the crash.
Tewa said that they started the journey at 9.30pm in Mombasa and that he and fellow passengers had lost mobile phones, money and other valuables to looters following the accident.
The mishap comes barely a fortnight after 23 other Kenyans died in Ukambani while going back home from a ceremony to pay dowry.
In the meantime, the Matatu Welfare Association (MWA) is encouraging drivers of Public Service Vehicles to exercise caution on the roads especially when transporting passengers.
Vice Chairman John Katimbwa cautioned them not to drink before they embark on their work as this was potentially fatal.
He pointed out that they should also ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy to prevent accidents.
“We need to be very categorical that alcohol and other hard drugs should not be consumed by drivers while on duty. If anybody is smelling of beer, let him be pulled out of that vehicle so that we do not risk the lives of Kenyans,” he said.
He further urged the police to publish hotlines through which passengers can contact them in the event of a driver misbehaving.
“I am calling upon the government especially through the Police Commissioner to provide hotlines within the PSV vehicles so that passengers on realising the driver is not steady on the roads can call them so that these drivers can be stopped before they kill Kenyans,” he stated.
“This blame game will remain the way it has always been if we continue to be good at responding to crisis.”
The week has been referred to as the ‘season of death’ with over 130 fatalities from various tragedies; the worst being the slum fire whose death toll has topped 120 with over 50 people still in hospital nursing serious burn wounds.
Then came the illicit brews in Central Province that claimed the lives of 23 people.