Veteran photojournalist William Oeri dies in car crash

Photojournalist and former NMG Deputy Photo Editor William Oeri during the Mater Heart Run held in Nairobi on may 25, 2019. He died in a car crash on Sunday. 

The media fraternity is mourning the death of veteran photojournalist William Oeri.

Oeri had plied his trade with Nation Media Group for 15 years before joining People Daily newspaper where he served until his death. At NMG, he served as the deputy photo editor.

He died on Sunday evening following a head-on collision on Kenol-Sagana Road that saw his vehicle burst into flames.

Commenting on his death, Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama said the photo editor was "an excellent and committed employee, a true friend and an example of a true nationalist."

"He worked well with and could fit in with all Kenyans. Pole to the family and may his soul rest in peace," Mr Gitagama said. 

Jane Muiruri, NMG's head of Human Resources, Visual and Syndication editor Joan Pereruan, former production editor Joe Mbuthia and NMG's Samwel Chege went to condole with the family at General Kago Funeral Home in Thika, where the autopsy was performed.

William Oeri

Photojournalist and former NMG Deputy Photo Editor William Oeri. 

People Daily Managing Editor Ng'ang'a Mbugua expressed shock over his untimely passing. He said he last spoke to Oeri on Thursday after he sought time off to visit his in-laws in Kirinyaga County.

“It is indeed true that Oeri is no longer with us...It is a sad loss to us as colleagues and friends. We have been in contact with his family,” he said.

He described Oeri as amiable, disciplined, a team player and professional.

According to Murang'a South security bosses led by Deputy County Commissioner Mr Gitonga Murungi and police boss Alexander Shikondi, the accident came as a shocker.

“We are sorry to the media fraternity. On behalf of Murang'a South security committee and the government here, we are touched. May it be well,” the two said in a statement.

According to the incident report, the accident occurred at Kitini area as he drove in his saloon car, a Toyota Wish.

"He was driving alone towards Kenol town. He was in a head-on collision with an Isuzu tipper,” the police incident report reads.

“Further, Mr Oeri's car burst into flames, but members of the public managed to extinguish it using sand. Both vehicles, which were extensively damaged, were towed to Makuyu police station,” the officers said.

Oeri died on the spot while the driver of the tipper, together with his two passengers, sustained minor injuries.

Security bosses said the body was later identified by family members at General Kago mortuary in Thika town.

He leaves behind his wife Faith Nyambuti and children.
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