Bus crash: How three relatives survived death - Daily Nation

Relatives speak on surviving bus tragedy

Friday October 12 2018

Kericho bus crash

Mr Wycliffe Odhiambo displays a photo of his wife Ms Adlite Munala. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PAULINE KAIRU
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By BENSON AMADALA
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It may have been a seventh sense, an intense consciousness of lurking danger, beyond the supernatural, or just the mere heeding of intuition, which saved three members of the Lomeni family - which lost six others in the grisly Fort Ternan crash.

The three, Adlite Munala, her son Brandon Junior Arayo and a niece only identified as Maggie were meant to travel with the family of Roston Mulala Lomeni to Mulwanda village in Kakamega County to attend their grandmother’s burial.

Mr Roston Lomeni Munala, 30, his wife Catherine, their two children, and two other relatives boarded the ill-fated bus on Tuesday night in the city.

They were among the 58 who perished when the bus known as Homeboyz, managed to the Western Cross Express Company Ltd, crashed early Wednesday morning.

RESCHEDULE

Mr Wycliffe Odhiambo’s wife, son and niece; Adlite, Brandon and Maggie, respectively, were scheduled to travel with the family of Roston on Tuesday evening but for what could be described as a seventh sense by Mr Odhiambo, he forced them to reschedule the journey to early morning.

Their father, Joseph Munala Lomeni, lost his son, daughter in-law and two grandchildren -a boy and a girl, aged five and two respectively, and two other unidentified relatives.

According to Mr Odhiambo, Roston went to his house on Sunday evening to finalise the travel arrangements.

“He told me he wanted to travel with my wife, son and nephew and left my house at around 10pm that they were all going to travel on Tuesday evening,” he said.

However, on Monday evening, Mr Odhiambo changed his mind and told his wife to prepare to take an early morning vehicle for the journey on Tuesday.

“They were all to travel in the evening, so an argument ensued between me and my wife about the sudden change of plans. She insisted that she wanted to travel with her brother but I remained firm,” Mr Odhiambo recollected .

“She could not understand why the sudden about turn, but I told her there was no way all the family members were to travel in the same vehicle,” he continues.

PANIC

On Tuesday, before they set off, Roston called his elder brother Timothy Lomeni informing him that they were about to start the journey.

“I spoke to my brother and told him I would be waiting for him in Kakamega Town in the morning when the bus arrives from Nairobi,” Timothy tearfully said after he received news of the tragic crash. However, they never met.

According to him, he unsuccessfully tried calling his brother when he got to Kakamega town; to find out why they bus had delayed, but his phone was off.

Mr Odhiambo, on the other hand, also did the same when he heard of the accident on radio on Wednesday morning but both Roston, and his wife’s phones were unanswered.

“I began to panic but then my wife soon called me saying they had been asked to go to Kericho County Referral Hospital,” he said.

DEATH

Sensing something terrible could have happened, Timothy desperately tried to reach his brother on phone but still without success.

“I tried calling his wife’s phone but could not get through. At that point I had a feeling that something had terribly gone wrong,” he said.

As he was contemplating his next move, his sister Jerusa who had accompanied his brother broke the news.

“My sister called at about 9am and sounded in much pain. She struggled as she spoke and told me of the accident that had claimed the lives of my brother and his family.

"I called my father and informed him of the misfortune. She survived the horrific crash but sustained multiple injuries and has been transferred to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital for treatment. Her daughter died in the accident