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Death toll in Kamara crash rises, survivors blame bus driver

Sunday February 17 2019

The wreckage of the passenger bus that was

The wreckage of the passenger bus that was involved in a head-on crash at Kamaru on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway on February 17, 2019. PHOTO | JOSEPH OPENDA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The death toll in a crash involving a passenger bus and a truck on Nakuru-Eldoret highway rose to nine after two people succumbed to their injuries at Eldama Ravine Sub-County Hospital.

The hospital's medical superintendent Anyise Serem, said on Sunday that she had received 74 patients from the accident.

Ms Serem said five were referred to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret for specialised treatment.


Nakuru County Police Commander Stephen Matu said the crash occured at Kamara at about 2am and involved a Greenline Safaris Bus and a truck.

The bus heading from Bungoma to Nairobi was overloaded, Mr Matu said.

“It appears the bus which had a capacity of 68 passengers was carrying at least 80," he said.

Mr Matu also said the bus driver had been overtaking when he collided with the oncoming truck. The drivers of the two vehicles were among those killed.

Those injured were taken to Eldama Ravine and Molo Sub-County hospitals and the bodies to the latter hospital's mortuary.

Police tow the wreckage of the Greenline

Police tow the wreckage of the Greenline Safaris bus from the accident scene at Kamaru on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway. PHOTO | JOSEPH OPENDA | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Survivors of the ill-fated bus blamed the driver for the tragic accident, saying he ‘‘had issues’’ throughout the journey.

Ms Josephine Atieno, who suffered fractures on the limbs, said the driver appeared restless, irritable and reluctant to work that evening.

She recalled how he took his time to start the journey at Cheptais town in Bungoma County at around 6pm on Saturday.

“When some passengers got impatient and asked him to start the bus, he angrily lashed out at them and told them to mind their own businesses,” said Ms Nanjala.

She added that the driver blamed the passengers for pushing him yet they would sleep immediately the bus took off.

“We overheard him saying he had not slept for a long time,” she added.

The bus made a stop at Chwele town where the survivors said it docked for about an hour.

Ms Nanjala said the driver alighted and went into one of the rooms where he stayed for the entire period.


Two students at Mary Jenniffer Yoo Adventist School said they were shocked by the drivers’ attitude towards the passengers.

The sisters, who were heading home for the half-term break, said they observed that the vehicle’s headlights were dim as they were sitting on the third row behind the driver.

The bus again made another stop at Eldoret town where the driver claimed he needed to fix the brakes.

“After we left Eldoret town the bus was being driven at a very high speed and overtook several vehicles along the way. Before the accident our vehicle was trying to overtake when we collided head-on with an oncoming truck,” said one of the girls.

They said they found themselves hanging onto the seats after the bus lost control and rolled. Seven people died on the spot.