Monday December 18, 2017
Seventeen people died in a grisly road crash on Sunday evening when their matatu collided head-on with a lorry at Ngoliba area on Thika-Garissa highway.Four people later succumbed to their injuries.
The 14-seater matatu, which was heading to Kitui from Nairobi, rammed an oncoming lorry as the driver overtook other cars.
"After sensing danger, the driver of the lorry tried to stop but it was a little too late to avoid a head-on collision. The matatu rammed the lorry," said Thika Traffic Base Commander Michael Lemaiyan.
Mr Lemaiyan confirmed that 13 people died on the spot while seven were rushed to various hospitals, including Thika Level Five Hospital in critical condition.
The driver of the ill-fated lorry, who later succumbed to his injuries, was trapped in the wreck and was rescued by firefighters.
"This is a case of overloading and overspeeding. Drivers are taking advantage of the absence of traffic officers on the highway to carry excess passengers," Mr Lemaiyan said.
Witnesses told the Nation that over 13 people died on the spot.
"The number is likely to go up. We haven't managed to account for every passenger that was in the overloaded matatu," the police chief added.
The police had a hard time getting details of the dead as many of the bodies did not identification documents on them.
Thika Level Five Medical Superintendent Joseph Wanjohi said the hospital received five bodies, while three people were admitted to the facility in critical condition.