Death toll of Makutano crash on Nakuru highway rises to 10

By Daily Nation

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Five more people died on Sunday from the Saturday night’s horrific road crash at Makutano area along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway, bringing the death toll to 10.

According to the Rift Valley Traffic Enforcement Officer Zero Arome, the accident involved a Nissan Matatu heading to Eldoret and two trucks heading to Mombasa from the Malaba border.

ACCIDENT

“The Nissan matatu heading to Eldoret lost control after a tyre burst before it collided with an oncoming truck. It swerved and hit a second truck. The matatu driver and four passengers died on the spot,” said the officer.

The Nissan matatu was reduced to a mangled wreckage following the impact.

The latest crash happened at Kware near Makutano junction at a sharp bend that cuts through the thick Koibatek Forest.

It is about 15km away from where six Kalenjin musicians and a driver perished at Kamara Bridge and some 20km from Sachangwan, another blackspot where several people recently perished in a multiple crash involving more than 13 vehicles.

The killer stretch has so far claimed the lives of more than 34 people in slightly over a week.

LOST CONTROL

Drivers of the two trucks in the Makutano accident told the Nation that it was not the matatu driver’s error that led to the accident — they attributed it to a mechanical hitch.

“I was heading to Mombasa from Malaba and when I arrived at Makutano, I saw the matatu speed towards my side after [the driver] lost control [of it]. It collided with the first truck before it hit the one l was driving head-on,” said Mr Andrew Kipkemoi, a truck driver.

Mr Dawood Yator, the driver of the truck that was first hit by the matatu said he teamed up with other people who were first to arrive at the accident scene to rescue survivors.

The bodies of those who perished were taken to Eldama Ravine mortuary awaiting identification from relatives.

Two people who sustained serious injuries were rushed to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital where they are recuperating.

The wreckages of the three vehicles were towed to Timboroa Police Station.

INVESTIGATIONS

Mr Arome said police were still investigating the cause of the accident, which caused a heavy traffic jam along the busy highway.

“Police have launched investigations to establish the cause of the accident and more details would be released later,” said Mr Arome.

On December 9, seven artistes perished in an accident at Kamara area along the highway. Their Toyota Probox vehicle collided head-on with a truck transporting chicken feed from Eldoret to Kiambu.

On Tuesday last week, more than 17 people died and a dozen others were seriously injured during a series of collisions involving more than 13 vehicles, including a Modern Coast bus which was headed to Kampala from Nairobi.

MEASURES

The series of accidents have prompted the government to intervene in a bid to end road carnage.

Last week, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) boss Peter Mundinia and Transport and Infrastructure PS John Mosonik said the government will spend Sh500 million to construct a dual carriageway in the 50km killer stretch from Sobea to Makutano in a bid to reduce the number of accidents.

They also announced that the government will construct a lorry brakes checking point and holding yard in Kibunja.

Most of the accidents are caused by trucks whose brakes fail as they descend the steep stretch between Kibunja and Salgaa.

The government also plans to widen the Nyanja-Kamara bridge, and repair and install new guard rails.