Survivors of the grizzly road accident in Kanyonyoo, Kitui County that left over 10 people dead have come out to recount the last moments before the Saturday night tragedy.
It has emerged that the driver of the 14-seater matatu, which had over 20 people aboard, was drunk and drove recklessly.
“The matatu was carrying about 21 people, and the driver was drunk and we kept warning him but he couldn’t listen,” one survivor told Citizen TV on Sunday after being discharged from hospital.
Nine people died on the spot at the scene of the accident while two others had, as of Sunday morning, died at hospitals while receiving treatment.
Majority of the victims were family members who were coming from the dowry negotiation ceremony of a man identified as Vundi Mwendwa, who himself was lucky to survive.
“The driver was trying to avoid colliding with another vehicle and the matatu veered off the road and rolled, throwing most of us out of it. Suddenly I found myself by the roadside with the others, writhing in pain,” narrated Mr. Mwendwa from his bed at the Kitui Level 4 Hospital.
“We had a pleasant dowry ceremony but the devil spoiled it with the accident, and we’re grieving for losing so many friends,” added Mwendwa, who is nursing a broken leg.
According to Kitui police commander Leah Kithei, the accident occurred around 11:50 pm at Kanyonyoo junction along the Thika – Kitui highway, only four kilometers to the final destination.
Ms Kithei said the matatu belonging to Nakimu Sacco had excess passengers whose number police had not properly established.
Area Assistant chief Jacob Mueti, who was among the first responders at the scene, placed the number at 24.
The matatu driver escaped from the accident scene and was traced and found unconscious on Sunday morning with broken limbs and fractured hand.
Victims who sustained serious injuries have since been referred to the Kenyatta National Hospital while bodies of the 12 have been taken to Kitui Level 4 Hospital morgue.
Ms. Kithei further stated that investigations are underway and the driver will be charged if found culpable.