Matatus-lorries crashes kill 13

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Thirteen people have died in two separate road accidents involving 14-seater matatus and lorries.

In the first accident, eight people died when their matatu collided head-on with a lorry at Kwa Muguna in Imenti South District.

Only one passenger in the ill-fated matatu survived with fractures and bruises and is admitted to Nkubu Mission Hospital.

Sources at the hospital said Ms Frida Kendi, 22, suffered a fracture on her right hand and bruises on the head and both legs. She was operated on.

Treated and discharged

The driver of the lorry and one of his passengers were treated and discharged. Another lorry passenger is admitted to the same hospital in stable condition.

Area deputy police boss Mohammed Wako said initial investigations indicated the matatu and the lorry were speeding when they collided at a corner on the Wednesday night.

The corner is a black spot.

“From how the matatu has been damaged, it appears the vehicle must have been moving at a high speed,” said Mr Wako, who spoke at the Nkubu police station yard where the wreckage was towed.

He accompanied motor vehicle inspectors who examined the two vehicles for details of the accident.

According to Mr Mutwiri Kajiyia, a rescuer, Ms Kendi was the only one wailing before she slipped into a coma.

“She was wailing and appeared to be in great pain. We removed seven bodies, but one was stuck and we had to cut through the wreckage to remove it,” said Mr Kajiyia.

In the second crash, five people died near Premese School on the Machakos-Nairobi road after a matatu rammed a stationary lorry.

Witnesses said that the lorry had been left on the road by its crew after it stalled at around midday.

The matatu, which was headed to Nairobi from Kitui, rammed the lorry at high speed and was extensively damaged.

“If the vehicle stalled it should not have been allowed to stay that long on the road. The accident occurred at around 8pm yet the vehicle stalled at around midday,” said area resident Peter Mutua.

Danger to road users

“Traffic police who man the road should have seen that the lorry was a danger to other road users. The driver of the matatu, too, should have noticed that there was a hazard in front of him,” he added.

Machakos district police boss Richard Cheres arrived at the scene moments after the accident and coordinated the transfer of the injured to hospital and the dead to Machakos Hospital mortuary.

 

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