At least 14 dead in Matuu road crash

Wednesday March 18 2020
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The ill-fated bus that was heading to Nairobi from Mandera before the crash on March 27, 2019. PHOTO | COURTESY | TWITTER

By KITAVI MUTUA
By HARRY MISIKO

At least 14 people died at the crack of dawn Wednesday after a Nairobi-bound bus from Mandera rammed a stationary truck at Matuu in Machakos County.

The dead include 10 men, three women and a child, area police boss Joseph Karanja told the Nation.

Mr Karanja said the incident happened a few minutes after 5am, and that the driver of the truck that had stalled on the road had not placed warning signs (called life savers) to caution other users.

According to police sources at the scene, the bus rammed the truck from behind before losing control and veering off the road.

"The bus was moving at a high speed and it just flew off the road after hitting the truck," one of the officers said.

The morning crash left scores of other passengers injured and they were taken to Matuu Level Four Hospital.

The ill-fated bus belongs to Madina Sacco and plies between the capital and the northern Kenya town, near the Somalia border.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba said one of his security personnel was among the 14 people who died in the horror.

The National Police Service officer, the governor said, was on his way to Nairobi for official duty.

The governor said most those who died or injured were from his border county.

“We are looking into ways of helping those injured,” he said.

Kullu nafsin dhaaiqatul mowt (Every soul shall taste death) but we should put in place every humanely possible measures to protect the safety of our people,”Mr Roba said.

The collision comes barely 24 hours after three people and were killed in a crash at Masimba market on Nairobi-Mombasa highway on Tuesday.

At least 20 people have perished on Kenyan roads in less than a week, bringing into question the effectiveness of measures the government has put in place to arrest runaway carnage.

According to National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) 250 pedestrians, 74 drivers and 137 passengers lost their lives to road crashes have died in 2019.

“I would like to call upon the authority (NTSA) to effectively implement road traffic rules to improve road safety,” the governor said.

Additional report by Lucas Barasa.