Pathologist calls for new probe into Wanjiru’s death
Posted Tuesday, May 22 2012 at 22:00
A postmortem examination report has cast doubt on the theory that Olympic champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru died from head injuries sustained in a fall from the balcony of his house.
The report, prepared by Dr Moses Njue, calls for thorough investigations to establish what caused the injuries on the back of the athlete’s head.
According to a police report, Wanjiru died from injuries he sustained in the fall from the balcony of his house in Nyahururu on the night of May 15, 2011.
Recently, Dutch journalist Frits Conijn launched a book that seeks answers to several questions surrounding the death of the marathon star. (READ: New book raises more questions on the death of Olympics star)
In the postmortem report, which has been handed over to the police for further investigation, Dr Njue doubts whether such a fall could have caused the fatal injuries.
“My opinion is derived from extensive experience on injuries and the fact that no one witnessed the fall, if at all it ever occurred,” says the nine-page report.
Dr Njue, then the Chief Government Pathologist, asserts that for the fall to have caused the runner’s death, its height ought to have been at least 30 feet.
The height of the balcony is 14 feet. “Height associated with deaths even in the intoxicated must be more than 30 feet and generally it is insignificant when it is three times that of an individual. In case of Wanjiru, it had to be at least 16-feet,” says the report.
The report has three theories about the injuries. In his first theory, the pathologist says that the injuries could have been independently inflicted and not associated with the fall from the balcony.
In the second theory, the report says Wanjiru could have landed on all fours and managed to stand up but then staggered and fell on his back hitting the concrete with his head. That would explain the injuries witnessed on the back of his head.
The third theory says he could have touched the ground on all fours then sprung into the air where his upper limbs turned in a somersault style and he came down head first.
“But on the basis of his short height, he could not have touched the ground then jumped backwards — his upper limbs stretched backwards and downwards to hit the ground,” the report says.
Dr Njue conducted the autopsy with three other pathologists — Dr Emily Rogena (representing Wanjiru’s mother Hannah Wanjiru), Dr Peter Ndegwa (representing Wanjiru’s wife Trizah Njeri) and Dr Johensen Oduor.
But the postmortem report lacks details on the toxicological samples sent to the Government Chemist.
Dr Njue says that there is a need for further scrutiny of all circumstances surrounding the incident as there was no eyewitness and the injuries sustained cannot be conclusively be linked to a fall.
He says he found it interesting that though there was adequate lighting within the compound, no one ever confessed witnessing the fall.
The night guard who opened the door for Ms Njeri to storm out denied witnessing the fall while a 24-hour CCTV system never captured the activities at the balcony and below while all the other five cameras continued working well.