“It’s the power of prayer. Prayer saved my life,” Dickson Muyumba told journalists with tears streaming down his face as he lay nursing injuries on his hospital bed at the Kericho County Referral Hospital, yesterday.
Yet, despite the physical injuries on his body, the tears were more of gratitude than pain. He said it was a privilege that while he lay on a warm bed, breathing, talking, crying…more than 50 people he shared an intimate space with just a few hours earlier, lay lifeless in a morgue.
“Were it not for God, I would be dead as well.”
Muyumba was one of the few to survive the horror bus crash that claimed more than 50 lives in Kericho at break of dawn yesterday. The bus, christened Homeboyz, was heading to Kisumu from Nairobi when the driver lost it’s control while going downhill, smashing into a guardrail before rolling down a valley.
He said they were shuffled between two other buses before midnight on Tuesday and were finally bundled into the ill-fated Homeboyz to start the journey towards Western region.
“Passengers from two other buses were told to board the same bus. It was overloaded but there was no one to complain to or any way to cancel the journey since our tickets had been taken away by the marshals,” he added.
He said there were no traffic police officers all the way from Nairobi, adding that they could have complained about the overloading if they would have come across any.
“We were so many that some were sitting on the soda crates and other luggage placed between the seats,” he said.
Besides the overloading, Muyumba, who was seated at the back, said the driver started speeding once they went past Naivasha.
“It could have been a double tragedy for my family because I was going to Vihiga to bury my mother,” said Muyumba, adding that a short prayer just before the accident saved his life.
“I felt the bus go off the road and said a short prayer thanking God for my life. I was tossed out as the bus rolled down the valley and lost consciousness to wake up in an hospital bed.”
“My family members, who were waiting at Luanda Hospital mortuary in Vihiga for us to remove the body of my mother ahead of today’s burial, would be planning a second funeral now,” he added.
He appealed for round-the-clock roadblocks and checks inside Public Service Vehicles to curb road carnage.
Sisters Linda and Susan Misee, who also survived the crash, said they were heading to Butere from Nairobi. Linda said they were lucky to be alive following the accident.
“I really don’t know what happened, I just found myself here at the hospital and I just thank God to be alive,” she said.
She sustained injuries on her back while her sibling sustained multiple injuries but doctors said she was in stable condition.
Former Roads minister Franklin Bett said many accidents are caused by negligence by the crew and called for those breaking traffic laws to be severely punished. He also attributed many accidents to lack of road markings on major highways.