Grief as Salgaa accident victims laid to rest

Hundreds of mourners flocked Muthenji Village in Molo sub-County, Nakuru on July 21, 2016 to send off two victims of the Salgaa accident that claimed lives of seven family members. PHOTO | JOSEPH OPENDA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Hundreds of mourners flocked the tiny Molo village to send off Ms Alice Muthoni Mbuthia and her son Myles Ndung'u.
  • The other five victims will be buried in Nyeri on Friday.

A sombre mood engulfed Muthenji Village in Molo Sub-County, Nakuru, on Thursday as two of the seven family members who perished in a grisly road accident at Salgaa last week were laid to rest.

Hundreds of mourners flocked the Molo village to send off Alice Muthoni Mbuthia and her son Myles Ndungu who died after their car crashed into a truck in the Friday night crash.

Ms Mbuthia's widower, Joseph Mbuthia, gave an emotional tribute to his wife and son.

“We always planned things together. We had so many dreams together which I feel have been shattered,” he said

Mr Mbuthia, a boda boda operator, broke into tears as he eulogised his lastborn and only son in the family of three children.

He narrated how he had received a text message from his wife at around 8pm on the fateful day informing him that their car had been involved in a minor accident in Nyahururu.

She, however, assured him that the crash would not affect their journey.

The soft-spoken man said he stayed awake all night waiting for his wife and son to arrive. At about 3am, he tried calling his wife’s mobile phone several times but it went unanswered.

He said he had felt strongly that something was wrong and decided to call his pastor Joe Maina of the Kenya Assemblies of God Church in Kitale who broke the horrific news to him.

Mr Maina had been informed about the accident by a church member, David Wanjau, who was traveling to Nakuru that night.

The seven family members died after their car collided with a lorry at the Salgaa black spot on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway. They were on their way from Nyeri, where they had attended a relative’s burial.

Among those who perished in the accident were Ms Muthoni’s father Kibira Munyi, her brother and his wife, Gerald and Gladys Munyi, a nephew and a niece.

The other victims will be buried in Nyeri on Friday.

OUTRAGE OVER ROAD CARNAGE

Nakuru County Woman Representative Mary Mbugua and Sirikwa Ward rep Peter Mureu suggested that the Salgaa black spot area be made a dual carriageway and travelling time for trucks at night be reviewed to save lives.

“I have said more than once that a dual carriageway should be introduced at Salgaa since it is known for causing so many accidents in Nakuru. The trucks should also not be allowed to travel late during the night,” said Ms Mbugua.

On Wednesday, senators expressed doubts about the ability of the National Transport and Safety Authority to rein in road accidents that have claimed dozens of lives in the past one month.

The lawmakers said most road users were no longer obeying traffic rules though the authority was set up to ensure safer roads for motorists and pedestrians.

Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma, Ford-Kenya) said the famed "Michuki rules" put in place by former Transport minister John Michuki (now late) were no longer being observed though they had helped reduce traffic-related deaths.

“What steps are being taken by the NTSA to secure our roads, because we have noticed there have been many grisly road accidents all over the country and more particularly in Salgaa in Nakuru?

"What is it doing about the irresponsible drivers? People are being knocked down yet there is clear road signage,” said Mr Wetang’ula.

(Editing by Joel Muinde)

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