Four killed in Kericho fatal crash

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Morris Otieno Okoth, speaks at his hospital bed at the Kericho Level Five Hospital after surviving an accident in the Kapsitet area along the Kericho- Kisumu highway. [Nikko Tanui, Standard]

Four passengers, including a four-year-old boy, have died in a fatal road accident at the Kipsitet-Muhoroni junction along the Kericho-Kisumu highway.

According to a traffic report released by police, the accident involved a Nissan Matatu that was ferrying passengers to Kisumu and a tractor-trailer carrying sugarcane on Saturday night at around 9:30 p.m.

Eight people survived the accident that saw the matatu crash into the tractor.

A survivor Morris Otieno Okoth, who was travelling with his family after attending his daughter's graduation at Chuka University, pointed fingers at the matatu driver, claiming he was speeding.

"I remember even before the accident, the driver swerved dangerously to avoid a head-on collision with another vehicle in the Salgaa area along the Nakuru-Kericho highway," he claimed.

Okoth, who suffered chest injuries, recounted the moments before the accident, stating that the driver suddenly slammed on the brakes, leaving him disoriented.

"I was jerked forward into a seat in front of me. Our rescuers had to create doors in the mangled wreckage to pull us out," he said.

Another survivor, Julian Okisa Makinde, shared regret for choosing to travel in the ill-fated matatu over a private vehicle, noting the significant price difference.

"Had we known that the matatu would end up in a road accident, we would have paid the higher fare for the other vehicle than to nearly pay with our lives," she said

Evans Ouma Ndege, another injured passenger, blamed the sugarcane-laden tractor, calling for separate lanes for such vehicles.

"The tractors are usually parked by the roadside; they don't even have working lights. The government should create a lane for the tractors instead of allowing them to use the same lane as public service and other vehicles," he insisted.

Alice Akoth, a nurse at Kericho Level Five Hospital's Accident and Emergency Unit, reported receiving a total of 12 road crash victims on Saturday night.

"While one victim died at the accident scene, three others, including a four-year-old boy, succumbed to their injuries during treatment," she said.

Akoth detailed the condition of the survivors, mentioning surgeries for head and face injuries and scheduled surgeries for those with multiple body injuries and fractures.

At the time of reporting, two survivors awaited CT-Scan reports, and two others awaited doctors' reviews for possible discharge.

The bodies of the deceased were transferred to Kericho Level Five Hospital mortuary for postmortem examinations, while the motor vehicle and tractor wreckage were towed to Kipsitet police station.

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