Three people died and five were seriously injured in two different crashes along the Embu-Kivaa road in Embu County on Saturday night.
In the first incident, two women died instantly after a lorry ferrying sand experienced mechanical failure and hit the matatu they were traveling in near Meka market.
Mbeere South Police boss Ahmed Mohammed said the lorry’s brakes failed while it was going up a hilly section of the road and it started reversing downhill.
The lorry hit a pickup truck that was following closely, driving it out of the road and then hit the matatu that had stopped to pick passengers.
Two passengers in the matatu belonging to Neno Sacco died instantly while two others are fighting for their lives at the Embu Level Five Hospital.
The lorry then proceeded downhill and landed in a ditch near a river.
Mr Mohammed said the lorry driver and loader escaped with minor injuries.
In the second incident, another lorry rammed a bodaboda, killing one person and seriously injuring two others, before driving off.
The police boss said they had mounted a search for the hit-and-run vehicle.
He appealed to drivers to be careful while on the road and warned that sand transporters found driving at night will be prosecuted.
He said many sand transporters whose vehicles have not complied with the “Michuki rules” are avoiding working during the day, causing numerous crashes in the area.
He said there is a ban on transportation of sand during the night but lorry drivers are flouting the rules.
“They have been hiding during the day for fear of being arrested because most of the vehicles are not compliant,” said Mr Mohammed.