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Death toll from three-day road slaughter rises to 65

Yusuf Masibo, Noah Cheploen and Seth Onyango @PeopleDailyKe

The death toll from road accidents in the past three days hit over 65 yesterday after another 36 died in two grisly crashes. In the first accident, 19 people including a three-year-old child perished on Monday night at Kamukuywa bridge on the Kitale-Webuye road—with 14 dying on the spot.

Five others succumbed to injuries yesterday morning while undergoing treatment at Webuye hospital yesterday morning. The accident involved a Nissan matatu from Kitale which was heading to Webuye when it rammed into a tractor that had overturned at the bridge.

And barely 12 hours later, 17 people perished and several others were injured following a multiple car crash at the notorious Sachangwan black spot on the Nakuru-Eldoret road yesterday. The accident which happened around 10.30am yesterday involved more than 10 vehicles including a bus, two lorries, three 14-seater matatus and a number of private cars.

While multiple sources gave conflicting figures, authorities confirmed 14 deaths on the scene and another in hospital. Yesterday’s accidents came only a day after 22 people died after a truck they were travelling in rolled several times at Moinonin along the Marigat-Loruk road in Tiaty, Baringo County, even as seven musicians from the popular Kenene international band, a well known Kalenjin music group, died on Saturday night in a grisly accident at Maraba on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

The seven, five men and two women, perished after a Toyota Probox they were travelling in collided head on with a lorry heading to Nakuru at around 7.30pm. The probox was headed to Hill tea, Timboroa.

Following the deadly crash, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Kenya Police Service to take stern action against motorists flouting traffic rules, especially during the festive season. Speaking at the Kasarani Sports Complex when he led the nation in celebrating this year’s Jamhuri Day, Uhuru regretted that the country has lost many people in the last few days through road accidents.

“As we approach the festive season, I urge all motorists to be careful on the roads. Let us be cautious and strictly observe traffic regulations to ensure road safety,” he said. He condoled with families of those who have lost loved ones in road accidents and urged drivers, especially those of public service vehicles, to be cautious as they ferry people to different destinations.

In the Kamukuywa incident a tractor, which was transporting sugarcane to West Kenya sugar company, had over turned at the bridge earlier in the day, according to an eye witness. Bungoma North OCPD Eliud Okello said there were no signs warning of the overturned tractor.

“The road there is narrow and because it was at night, the Matatu driver was not aware of the accident and that he ought to slow down,” he said. At Sachangwan, witnesses said the accident happened after a truck which was allegedly being chased by National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) personnel rammed into the bus causing a multiple of collisions.

The bus was heading to Kampala from Mombasa with the accident causing a heavy snarl-up on the busy road which links Western Kenya and Nairobi and Mombasa. However, NTSA has denied culpability.

Director-General Francis Meja said that the truck that caused the accident may have collided with other vehicles due to break failure and speeding contrary to reports that it was being pursued by the agency vehicle.

“Our patrol vehicle monitoring system indicate that ours was stationary 5km from the scene of the accident…we had arrested an Easy Coach bus which had been found with traffic offenses,” he said. Meja also announced that a tender has been advertised for the redesign of the notorious Salgaa stretch infamous for road carnage.

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