When Mr Joseph Musyoka and his wife Margaret Kavive dropped off their two children on the evening of Tuesday, July 31, to join other pupils for a school trip to Mombasa the following day, little did they know that was the last time they were seeing them alive.
Concerned about the biting cold, the parents gave them two heavy jackets to keep them warm along the way and some snacks as they bade them farewell.
The farewell hugs turned out to be final for the parents as their two children were among the 10 pupils from St Gabriels’ Boarding Primary school in Mwingi, whose lives were cut short in a grisly road accident on Saturday night.
Sadly, Andrea Kasyoka and her younger brother, James Muthui, who were both in Standard Eight, were among the eight pupils who died on the spot when their school bus was hit by a truck at Kanginga River bridge, some two kilometres from Mwingi Town.
In an interview with the Nation on Monday, the devastated father of six had still not come to terms with the loss of his two lovely children.
He narrated how he readily agreed to pay the Sh6,000 for each of the children for the study trip.
“We escorted them to the school on Tuesday evening, hoping to see them on their return in five days. Unfortunately that was never to be,” he said.
The businessman was among the first people to arrive at the accident scene as he had planned to be in Mwingi in time to receive his children.
His wife who has since been taken to hospital after collapsing on getting the shocking news was at the school compound with other parents.
“I could not believe my eyes after seeing the bus upside down at the river where it plunged. What disturbed me was the imagination that my two children were in one of the buses.”
He added: “I felt like I was watching a horror movie and I didn’t know where to start because some bodies were lying lifeless on the tarmac. I called my younger brother James Musyoka who rushed to the scene in 10 minutes”.
When his brother arrived, the injured pupils were being pulled from the wreckage alongside dead bodies but in the confusion, he didn't see his children among the injured.
The younger Mr Musyoka, a member of the County Assembly of Kitui, was the first to identify the bodies his nephew and niece lying on the tarmac.
Mr Musyoka decided not to notify his elder brother who was frantically searching for his children in the second bus that had pulled there.
It was until the following morning when the two parents were notified by doctors and Kenya Red Cross volunteer counsellors that their daughter and son had perished in the crash.