A section of the busy Naivasha-Nakuru highway has become a death trap for drivers, especially at night.
Since the beginning of the month, four people have died on the Weighbridge-Soysambu stretch, with police now urging motorists to take extra caution.
The latest incident occurred on Sunday evening, when a motorist lost control of his vehicle near the Gilgil turn junction before it rolled several times.
“A woman aged 78-years died on the spot, with two others sustaining serious injuries,” said Gilgil sub-county deputy police Commander Henry Mbogo.
The injured were rushed to Gilgil sub-county hospital.
The driver hit rumble strips – road safety features aimed at alerting inattentive drivers of potential dangers - before he lost control of the vehicle.
The accident shone a spotlight on the dangers of the busy road that claims at least 10 lives every month, according to statistics from the Gilgil-based Road Traffic Accident (RTA) department.
“It’s one of the dangerous spots, especially at night...we have been losing lives at the particular spot at an alarming rate,” Mr Mbogo said.
The stretch, he said, had become notorious, especially for motorists unfamiliar with the route.
Another dangerous point on the road is Kikopey, where a Kenya Defence Forces soldier died when his vehicle collided with an oncoming truck last Monday.
The accident, Mr Mbogo said, occurred in the wee hours as the soldier attempted to avoid ramming a stationary lorry parked on the busy route. He died on the spot.
Mr Mbogo said the accidents were caused by speeding motorists.
“A case in point is a motorist attempting to overtake several trucks along the route only to ram into an oncoming trailer,” he said.
He acknowledged that overtaking, especially at night, was a major contributor to the collisions.
“The numbers are worrying and it is high time that road users exercise caution more so those using the road at night.”
In February, a matatu carrying 14 passengers to Nairobi collided with a truck. Nine people were confirmed dead, while five others were admitted to different hospitals with injuries.
The truck, heading towards Nakuru, was trying to overtake another vehicle before it collided with the oncoming matatu at 5am.
The accident occurred in the Soysambu area.
In October 2020, a police rider died when his motorcycle collided with a matatu in the Karura area on the Naivasha-Gilgil highway.
The motorcyclist suffered serious head injuries and was pronounced dead at St Mary's Mission Hospital. The matatu was heading to Nakuru, while the police rider was coming from the opposite direction.
Nominated MCA Rose Njoroge said some of the accidents were caused by dangerously parked trucks.
“Some of the drivers park their vehicle with undue care to other road users, leading to a number of fatal accidents,” she told Nation.Africa
In 2014, the Kenya National Highway Authority erected speed bumps in Gilgil following a series of crashes that claimed several lives after being knocked down by speeding motorists.
The decision by Kenha followed an outcry by local leaders led by the then area MP Mathenge Ndiritu, who petitioned the NTSA to put up the bumps.
Mr Ndiritu said a long-term solution was dualling of the busy road, citing heavy traffic, especially on weekends.
“The plans to build a carriageway will go a long way in minimising cases of accidents along the busy road,” he added.
Meanwhile, police are urging motorists to be alert and help reduce the number of accidents among road users.