12 perish, scores injured in Gilgil bus, lorry crash

Twelve people, including a minor, died and 20 others seriously injured following a grisly road accident in Gilgil on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

Eleven of the victims died on the spot while one succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment following the early morning crash that involved a bus and a trailer.

Among the dead were a group of mourners travelling from Vihiga to Nairobi.

Personal effects soaked in blood and fuel were littered all over the scene before traffic police moved in and towed away from the wreckage to Gilgil Police Station.

The accident came hours after NTSA officers conducted a major crackdown on the same highway seizing tens of unroadworthy vehicles. (See story below).

According to the latest figures, the number of those who have died from accidents has already risen by seven per cent compared to the same period last year.

According to witnesses, the driver of the bus christened Climax, was overtaking a lorry when he crashed into the trailer at around 3 am yesterday.

The driver, whom some passengers accused of been reckless, also died on the spot while 25 passengers were rushed to Gilgil sub-county hospital before 11 were referred to Rift Valley PGH.

“The driver of the trailer swerved to the right to avoid a head-on collision and in the process, the bus rammed into its side killing 11 people on the spot,” said Amin Hamsa, a passenger in the ill-fated bus.

He said some passengers had pleaded with the driver to slow down to no avail. Another survivor Absolom Kulundu, who sustained a leg fracture, termed the driver as careless and rude.

“The driver all along had been speeding and he did not listen to the passengers who were seated close to him and this caused the accident,” he said.

The bus conductor Isaac Mbugua who escaped with head and arm injuries, however, blamed the driver of the lorry they were overtaking for failing to give way.

“The driver of the lorry that we were overtaking failed to give way and our bus was trapped in between leading to the accident where the driver died on the spot,” he said.

Speaking on phone, Gilgil OCPD Emmanuel Opuru said the bodies had been moved to Gilgil mortuary. He said that the occupants of the trailer escaped unscathed adding that initial investigations indicated the bus driver was to blame for the accident.

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