Kenya's athletics fraternity was on Wednesday thrown into mourning after the death of David Lelei in a road accident on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
Mr Lelei died on the spot after his vehicle collided with a trailer on Mbaruk Bridge, a black spot near Shiners Boys High School.
The former 800 metres and 1,500 metres world champion was travelling to Nakuru with former world 10,000 metres champion Moses Tanui, who survived the crash but suffered serious leg and chest injuries.
Mr Tanui was taken to the nearby St Mary’s Hospital before being transferred to Nairobi Hospital for specialised treatment. Doctors told the Nation that Mr Tanui was out of danger.
Witnesses said that the impact of the accident was such that the athletes’ Toyota Raum car split into two. Nakuru Police commander Johnstone Ipara said the body was taken to Nakuru Municipal mortuary.
“It is too early to speculate the cause of the accident because this area is a known black spot and has claimed lives of several people,” he said.
Mr Lelei was born on May 10, 1971. In 2007 he attempted to run for the Eldoret South parliamentary seat on an Orange Democratic Movement ticket but lost at the nomination stage to the eventual winner Peris Simam.
He was also the chairman of Athletics Kenya (AK)’s Wareng District branch and last officiated on February 7 during the Discovery cross country race and half marathon race in the area.
His former coach, Mr David Leting, described him as great athlete and master organiser who helped his village.