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Weekend road crashes claim 21 lives

Noah Cheploen and Judith Kemei @PeopleDailyKe

Twenty one people died on Saturday in two separate accidents that also claimed the life of a popular Kalenjin musician and six of his dancers.

In the first incident, 14 people among them police officers died on the spot after a truck they were travelling in veered off the road and rolled several times near Moinonin trading centre on the Marigat-Loruk road.

The police officers, stationed at Kapedo, had gone to Marigat town to buy foodstuff. Witnesses said the police truck was trying to avoid hitting a goat when the driver lost control of the vehicle, veering off the road and rolling several times. OCPD Baringo Central Eliud Njeru said those dead were a boy, girl, ten women and two men.

“Five AP officers survived the accident with serious injuries,” he said. Those injured are receiving treatment at Marigat District Hospital while those with critical injuries were transferred to Baringo Referral Hospital in Kabarnet for specialised treatment.

At the same time, the music industry is mourning the death of fast-rising Kalenjin singer Josphat Keneny, of the popular Keneny International Band, who died in an accident that also claimed the lives of his dancers.

Keneny was traveling with his colleague, known as Nico En Embassy by his stage-name, when the accident took place near Kamara on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway. Rift Valley Traffic Enforcement Officer Zero Arome said Keneny’s vehicle was overtaking when it collided head-on with an oncoming truck.

“The driver must have underestimated the distance and speed of the oncoming vehicle before making the fatal move, leading to the death of the seven,” he said. Interestingly, Nico appeared to have had a premonition following a chilling message posted on his Facebook page on December 3.

In the message, the artist wonders whether his loved ones will stand by him at his death, when it knocks the door. “Sometimes you need to be alone in a peaceful and silent environment to think about your life and the people to call loved ones.

Will he/she stand with you when you are sick or when you’re pronounced dead? Will he/she have the courage to sit beside your coffin during your burial?” he wondered.

Keneny and his band were due to perform at Keellu Resort in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County. At Koriema, on the Kabarnet-Marigat road, a Kenya Wildlife Service bus was involved in an accident, leaving its occupants with multiple injuries.

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