Matatu rolls over killing six


Six people died after a matatu they were travelling in rolled and burst into flames on Tuesday morning at Radat area, along the Nakuru-Kabarnet road.

The driver of the eight-seat matatu lost control of the vehicle as he unsuccessfully tried to avoid hitting a pedestrian at 7am.

Among the dead were three women, a ten-year-old child and a police officer.

Another officer, who was also a passenger in the vehicle, is among three survivors who were rushed to Kabarnet District Hospital in critical condition.

The matatu was on its way to Nakuru from Kabarnet. The two officers were on their way to Nairobi from their rural homes.

A witness, Mr Vincent Bett, said the driver swerved to avoid hitting an old man and lost control of the speeding vehicle.

“The old man was crossing the road slowly. The speeding driver veered to avoid hitting him but the vehicle rolled and burst into flames,” Bett told The Standard.

He said motorists plying the road together with well-wishers rushed to the scene to rescue the passengers.

Another witness said they fought the fire with tree branches and soil, since there was no water nearby.

“We tried putting out the fire and rescue passengers who were crying for help,” the witness said.

Two of the victims, including the pedestrian, died on the spot while the other four were pronounced dead upon arrival at Kabarnet District Hospital.

Little was salvaged from the matatu, which was reduced to a shell.

Speaking at the scene, Mogotio District Commissioner Julius Ngumo said the number of accidents had increased along the route due to failure by drivers to observe traffic rules.

“Even as the Government continues repairing roads for easier movement, it’s unfortunate that drivers are not observing basic traffic rules leading to loss of innocent lives,” the DC said. Baringo District Kenya National Union of Teachers Executive Secretary Charles Kamuren, who condoled with the bereaved families, attributed the increased cases of accidents in the area to speeding drivers.

Kamuren called on drivers to be vigilant, adding that traffic police officers should also be firm in enforcing rules.



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