Survivors of the gruesome road accident that killed over ten people in Kanyonyoo, Kitui County, have come forward to relate the final minutes before the catastrophe on Saturday night.
The driver of the 14-seater matatu, which had over 20 people on board, was found to be inebriated and driving carelessly.
“The matatu was carrying about 21 passengers, and the driver was inebriated. We kept warning him, but he wouldn’t listen,” one survivor told Citizen TV after being released from the hospital on Sunday.
Nine people perished at the scene of the accident, while two others died in hospitals while undergoing treatment as of Sunday morning.
The majority of the dead were family members returning from a dowry bargaining ceremony held by a guy named Vundi Mwendwa, who was fortunate enough to survive.
“The driver was attempting to avoid colliding with another car when the matatu went off the road and rolled, ejecting the majority of the passengers.” Mr. Mwendwa told from his bed at the Kitui Level 4 Hospital, “Suddenly I found myself beside the roadside with the others, writhing in anguish.”
“We had a nice dowry ceremony, but the devil ruined it with the disaster, and we’re saddened by the loss of so many friends,” Mwendwa, who is recovering from a fractured leg, said.
The collision happened around 11:50 p.m. near Kanyonyoo junction on the Thika – Kitui highway, only four kilometers from the final destination, according to Kitui police commander Leah Kithei.
Ms Kithei said that Nakimu Sacco’s matatu had an excess of passengers whose number police had not properly determined.
The figure was put at 24 by Area Assistant Chief Jacob Mueti, who was one of the first responders on the scene.
The matatu driver managed to flee the site of the accident and was apprehended on Sunday morning, dazed and with shattered limbs and a fractured hand.
Serious injury victims have been transported to the Kenyatta National Hospital, while the corpses of the 12 victims have been taken to the Kitui Level 4 Hospital morgue.
Ms. Kithei went on to say that investigations are ongoing and that if the driver is determined to be at fault, he would face charges.