Seventeen people were killed Monday, and dozens were injured, at least 27 seriously, in a head-on crash involving a commercial passenger bus and a lorry along the Kisumu-Nairobi Highway at Othoo area in Nyando, police officials and local media reported.
The accident occurred at around 2:30 AM when a Super Metro bus belonging to its Super Coach Executive Limited, which was heading to Mombasa from Kampala, Uganda, was speeding to overtake a private saloon car when it collided with the oncoming lorry according to eyewitnesses.
“We were woken up by a loud bang, and when we rushed to the scene, we found bodies strewn all over the road as well as the mangled wreckage of the lorry. Injured passengers were crying in excruciating pain,” Jamea Onyango, one of the present residents during the crash, said.
Both the two drivers of the Super Metro bus and the driver of the lorry, which was ferrying rice paddy to Ahero Town, died on the spot.
The residents were later joined by the authorities who responded to the crash, and the Nyando Sub-County Police Commander Grace Thuo, who was then present, said the injured passengers aboard the ill-fated bus and 12 bodies were transported to Ahero Sub County Hospital.
Fifteen of them who had serious injuries, two of whom were in critical condition, were taken to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital for treatment.
The cause of the accident is still unclear, and the identities of the victims have not been released as the police have said the incident remains under investigation. Super Metro was cooperating in the investigation, the company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nelson Nduki said while sympathizing with the victims’ families.
“We send our condolences to the families. It is very difficult because we have never experienced this and we have followed all the regulations as per the Traffic Act. We had two drivers. The drivers who were seated in the front seats passed away,” a remorseful Nduki stated.
Adding, “It is very unfortunate that this kind of accident can happen particularly to one that is related to our company. We are saddened. We have sent our team there because there are individuals who are hospitalized.”
This comes barely three days after the Star Newspaper Journalist Dickens Wasonga lost his life in a car crash and a day after three people, including two truck drivers, died in a recent accident on Webuye-Malaba Highway.