What you need to know:
- The traffic inspection team on Monday commenced analysis of the mechanical condition of the ill-fated Toyota Premio- Registration No KDL 566F that claimed the lives of marathon star, Kelvin Kiptum and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizamana.
- Investigators looking for possible leads on what could have happened before Kiptum lost control and veered off the road.
Investigators were Monday trying to piece together events that led to the tragic accident that claimed the lives of World Marathon Record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizamana on Sunday night, as the world mourned the promising internationally acclaimed Kenyan athlete.
The traffic inspection team on Monday morning commenced analysis of the mechanical condition of the ill-fated Toyota Premio- Registration No KDL 566F that claimed the marathon star, for possible leads on what could have happened before he lost control and veered off the road.
The investigators could not, however, share the preliminary findings by the close of the day, saying it would be premature.
According to the police report, Kelvin, his Rwandan coach, and a female company were headed to Eldama Ravine from Eldoret when the accident happened at 11 pm, near Flax Centre in Kaptagat area along the Eldoret -Ravine Road.
The world marathon champion was driving the ill-fated blue Toyota vehicle, with the two passengers on board- Garvais and the lady identified as Sharon Chepkirui Jepkosgei.
According to the Elgeyo Marakakwet County Commander Peter Mulinge, Kelvin lost control of the vehicle, which then veered off the road, landing in a ditch about 60 meters away, before hitting a big tree.
The vehicle was badly damaged and was towed to Kaptagat Police Station where an assessment was carried out on Sunday morning.
Police were able to trace Sharon, 24, the only survivor of the accident, at her Kipgorot home at 1 pm on Monday, in the company of her parents and close relatives. She was treated and discharged from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) at 6 am Monday, according to the hospital records, confirmed by acting chief executive officer Dr Philip Kirwa.
According to the doctor’s and police reports, Sharon who was seated at the rear seat suffered minor bruises and soft tissue injuries.
Police said she had a stitch on the head and bruises on her arm and was stable, though recovering from trauma.
Apart from the mechanical assessment of the vehicle, investigators will also be banking on the post-mortem report of both the athlete and his coach for further clues, as well as talking to witnesses who arrived at the scene first.
Sharon told police that Kiptum lost control of the vehicle and alerted him, but it was too late as they landed in a ditch.
“The inspection report could reveal something because these are experts. Please allow us to complete investigations to determine what happened. We cannot disclose anything at this point as whatever we have gathered is not sufficient to make any conclusions,” Mr Mulinge told Nation.Africa on Monday evening.
“The doctor's post-mortem report will tell us more, we shall have a clearer picture when we get the entire report,” he stated.
Mourners on Monday flocked the scene of the tragic accident that claimed the lives of World Marathon Record holder and his Rwandan coach.
Parts of the wreckage of the vehicle that claimed their lives lay strewn at the deep trench where the vehicle rolled, with a metal part stuck on the tree, demonstrating the impact of the accident.
Throughout the day, members of the public arrived in droves to witness firsthand the accident scene that claimed the life of the world-celebrated athlete.
The somber mood was also witnessed at the home of the athlete in Chepsamo, Kaptarakwa ward, Keiyo South constituency in Elgeyo Marakwet county and at the Racecourse hospital where his body lay, and at Eldoret Hospital where it was later transferred.
Several athletes and coaches were present at all the venues and converged at the family home to mourn with Kiptum’s family.
Kiptum, 24, died barely a week after his world marathon record of 2:00:35 set in Chicago last year was ratified by the World Athletics, and was positioning himself to run under two hours at the Rotterdam Marathon on April 14 this year.
He is survived by a wife and two children aged seven and four.