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Tergat urges drivers to be extra careful

Friday December 10 2010

By CHRIS MUSUMBA [email protected]

Former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat is thankful to God after he survived to see the wreck that was his sleek Mercedes Benz car.

“I thought I was going to die. I feared for my life and had no time to decide what best to do. But as you see am okay, I survived,” he said on Friday.

Tergat, who struggled to suppress tears, recounted the ordeal from his hospital bed at the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi, after he was airlifted by his colleagues from Kenya Air Force from Eldoret where the grisly accident occurred on Thursday.

“I was meant to graduate with a honorary degree from the Moi University today (Friday). I was meant to fly to Eldoret, but all the flights were fully booked.

“So I opted to use my car. I left early in the morning and was just about to reach the University when it happened,” he said as his wife Monicah stood by his side.

It was meant to be a day of joy. But it all ended in split second. Just like the way he beat South African Hendrick Ramaala in the 2005 New York Marathon by the thickness of a vest, Tergat was stuck between life and death on the road.

“On my right was a tanker that had stalled. But on the on the left side, was another trailer heading my way for a head on crash. I had to make a move. I swerved, and that is all I can remember.

“Everything went dark. I could hear a woman shout ‘is this Tergat’? I said ‘it is Tergat’, I don’t know if they heard me,” he said.

“It is a miracle I survived that crash. It took the rescue people over 30 minutes to pull me out of the wreck.”

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