Worshipers from the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) have been thrown into mourning following the deaths of three bishops along the Embu-Makutano road in Kirinyaga County.
The worshipers were Saturday trying to come to terms with the loss of their spiritual leaders who were crushed to death at Wamumu Village on Friday night as road crashes continue claiming the lives of Kenyans countrywide.
The three bishops, Philiph Kubai, Stanley Karuru and Moses M'Ntororu died on the spot during the grisly incident which also left the locals badly shaken.
They were travelling to Meru from Nairobi aboard a Toyoya Fielder car after a church meeting when the tragedy struck.
The crash occurred when the bishops' car collided head on with a Subaru car.
However, their driver, Mr Mwendia Mwombobia, escaped death narrowly and was treated at Mwea Mission Hospital and discharged.
Witnesses recounted how the Nairobi-bound Subaru car which had two occupants was trying to overtake another vehicle when it ploughed into the car carrying the bishops.
The occupants of the Subaru car suffered head and hand injuries and were taken to the hospital and admitted in a critical condition.
Immediately after the crash, police arrived at the scene only to find the bodies of the bishops trapped in the mangled car.
Later the bodies were pulled out and taken to Gakwegori mortuary in Embu.
Witnesses said they saw the Subaru car swerve while overtaking and then heard a loud bang.
"The Subaru was overtaking and suddenly rammed into the Fielder carrying the men of God," said one of the witnesses.
A worshiper, Mr John Njuki, said he learnt of the deaths of the bishops with great shock.
“When I heard what had happened I was really shocked. We as worshipers nationally are mourning the deaths of our loved ones," said Mr Njuki, who is also the chairman of AIPCA Kirinyaga diocese.
Mr Njuki said all the bishops were from three dioceses in the larger Meru region and were returning home after a lengthy church meeting.
"The bishops were holed up in a meeting the whole day discussing church matters. When they finished the meeting they started going home. While on their way to Meru, the accident took place and they all perished but their diver survived,” he said.
Mr Njuki said the deaths of the prelates were big blow to the entire church across Kenya.
"We have lost brilliant and hardworking leaders who have steered the church to greater height of success. What has happened will linger in our minds forever," said Mr Njuki.
Another worshiper, Mary Njambi, was overwhelmed with emotions and sobbed when the sad news broke.
"I can't believe that our bishops are no more. It is so sad," she said.
Mwea East police boss Mutoro Kizito described the incident as the worst in the area in the recent times.
"It is sad we have lost the lives of the church leaders," said Mr Kizito.
He said investigations had been launched to establish the circumstances under which the crash happened place.
"We have been told that the driver of one of the ill-fated vehicle was trying to overtake but we are yet to establish the truth of the matter," said Mr Kizito.
The police boss said most fatal crashes are caused by careless driving and warned drivers against flouting traffic rules.