Nairobi — The driver of bus that crashed in Ntulele on the Mai Mahiu-Narok road killing 42 passengers has surrendered to the police. Steve Mutia turned himself in accompanied by his wife at the national traffic headquarters on Tuesday afternoon.
Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru told Capital FM News the driver would be taken to court on Wednesday but did not disclose the charges he will face. "We shall take him to court tomorrow... he will (in the meantime) be taken to Narok where he will be required to write a statement," he said. Mutia went into hiding after the bus he was driving on August 29 veered off the road and rolled leaving 42 people dead and scores of others injured.
In an open engagement with the commandant, the driver admitted the bus had carried excess passengers and was overloaded with luggage. "I had warned my two conductors that the bus was not stable long before the accident occurred," he said. "I am a powerless driver in this company since I am only one month old in the company."
Narrating what happened, he said; "I arrived at around 8pm where I found the bus fully packed. We started our journey but unfortunately at around 12:30am the accident occurred." "I tried waving other cars on that route to stop for one hour (after the accident) without getting any help. By then, I was bleeding all over," he recalled.
He sustained head injuries and a broken arm during the tragic crash. Mutia, 49, has been a driver since 1996. "I have been involved in other three accidents but not of this magnitude." "I was driving at a speed of 80 to 100 kilometres per hour throughout the journey," he revealed.
Kimaru warned that those who flout traffic laws will be arrested and charged in court. "All our efforts are shifted towards curbing this from happening again, we do not want to see this again," he stated. "We have activated our highway patrol unit to check on the excess passengers and luggage carried by these buses at night."
Ahead of schools reopening, Kimaru said they have put measures in place to avoid excess ferrying of passengers. "We are not only targeting the drivers but also those people who accept to be carried as excess; we want to teach them a lesson," he warned. He also revealed that they will have a countrywide crackdown of Public Service Vehicles starting Wednesday.
The owner of the ill-fated City to City bus was charged in court on Monday. Mohamed Abdulnasir Sheikh who appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ndwiga was accused of allowing a defective bus to operate. He was also indicted for failing to keep records of his drivers of the bus company.
He however denied the charges and was remanded at the Muthaiga Police Station to await preparation of fresh charges before a Narok court. Sheikh was arrested on Sunday following the tragic bus accident last week and the police have impounded three buses belonging to the company.